GOP county commissioner removed over January 6 conviction

One ardently pro-Trump elected official received some devastating news this week when a judge removed him from office. 

According to NPR, Judge Francis J. Mathew of the New Mexico District Court ruled that Couy Griffin can no longer serve as Otero County commissioner following his conviction for trespassing during the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.

“He took an oath to support the Constitution”

“Mr. Griffin is constitutionally disqualified from serving,” Mathew was quoted as saying in a ruling issued on Tuesday.

“He took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States … [and then] engaged in that insurrection after taking his oath,” the judge continued.

Mathew based his decision on Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which forbids anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding office if that person previously swore to uphold the Constitution.

Mathew’s decision came about as the result of a lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a left-wing advocacy group.

CREW director Noah Bookbinder welcomed the decision in a statement, saying, “This just went from being theoretical to being something that is legally recognized and legally possible.”

“That’s hugely significant,” he declared, adding, “It could have real implications for protecting the country from people associated with the effort to overturn the last election.”

Other attempts at removing Republicans have been less successful

However, other attempts at removing Republicans over alleged ties to January 6 have been less successful. The Epoch Times reported in April that Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury dismissed a lawsuit aimed at Arizona Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Bigg along with state Rep. Mark Finchem.

“The express language of the United States Constitution controls this issue. The Disqualification Clause creates a condition where someone can be disqualified from serving in public office,” Coury said in his decision.

“However, the Constitution provides that legislation enacted by Congress is required to enforce the disqualification pursuant to the Disqualification Clause,” he added.

“Aside from criminal statutes dealing with insurrection and rebellion which Congress has enacted (lawsuits which require the government, not private citizens, to initiate), Congress has not passed legislation that is presently in effect which enforces the Disqualification Clause against the candidates,” the judge concluded.