U.S. Supreme Court lets ban on Couy Griffin from holding office stand

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a Republican official who was barred from holding office after being convicted for a crime involving the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. A state district court judge removed Couy Griffin, a former Otero County commissioner, from office after his conviction related to the Jan. 6, 2021 […]

U.S. Supreme Court lets ban on Couy Griffin from holding office stand

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a Republican official who was barred from holding office after being convicted for a crime involving the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.

A state district court judge removed Couy Griffin, a former Otero County commissioner, from office after his conviction related to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. The former county commissioner was a prominent Donald Trump supporter and founded the Cowboys for Trump organization.

He was the first and so far only elected official barred from office using the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment for his role in the insurrection.

The U.S. Supreme Court notably decided unanimously earlier this month that only Congress could stop Trump from appearing on the ballot. The state of Colorado, and several other states, had barred Trump from office for his role in the insurrection.

Griffin represented himself and argued during a bench trial that only voters could remove him from office, and they had failed to do so during a recall petition drive.

He was convicted of entering restricted grounds, though he maintained he was only in the area to pray with the insurrectionists. Griffin was acquitted of a charge of disorderly conduct. Both charges were misdemeanors.

Griffin previously exhausted his appeals in the state system, when the state Supreme Court dismissed his appeal in 2022.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the group that spurred Griffin’s ban, reacted to the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

“By refusing to take up this appeal, the Supreme Court keeps in place the finding that January 6th was an insurrection, and ensures that states can still apply the 14th Amendment’s disqualification clause to state officials,” the group’s president Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. “Crucially, this decision reinforces that every decision-making body that has substantively considered the issue has found that January 6th was an insurrection, and Donald Trump engaged in that insurrection. Now it is up to the states to fulfill their duty under Section 3 to remove from office anyone who broke their oath by participating in the January 6th insurrection.”

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