Republicans seek to impeach New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

 January 18, 2024

This week saw Republican lawmakers in New Mexico file articles of impeachment against Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

According to KOB 4, the articles were filed on Thursday by state Reps. John Block and Stefani Lord, a move which Block explained in a social media post.

Representatives accuse governor of violating her oath

"Today, [Rep. Lord] and I officially filed articles of impeachment against [Gov. Lujan Grisham] for her malfeasance in office by flagrantly breaking her oath to the Constitution by infringing upon New Mexicans' inalienable rights," Block wrote. 

"In the coming days, the articles will be available on the NM Legislative website and officially be introduced/referred to a committee," he added. 

The impeachment articles reference a public health order Lujan Grisham issued in September regarding guns, something the lawmakers said violated her oath of office.

Sheriff and attorney general both condemned order

The order limited citizens' ability to carry weapons in Albuquerque and the surrounding areas in Bernalillo County in response to a spike in violence.

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen quickly responded by issuing a statement which condemned the move, saying that it "challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold."

"I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense," he added.

What's more, New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez put out a statement of his own announcing that he would not defend the order in court.

"Though I recognize my statutory obligation as New Mexico’s chief legal officer to defend state officials when they are sued in their official capacity, my duty to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen takes precedence," he said.

Impeachment push unlikely to succeed

However, University of New Mexico School of Law professor Joshua Kastenberg expressed skepticism about any attempt at impeaching Lujan Grisham being successful.

He pointed out that this would require a majority vote from the state House of Representatives, where Democrats hold a majority.

Meanwhile, KOB 4 noted that Lujan Grisham's original carry ban was struck down by a federal judge, which led her to declare a more limited order requiring gun buybacks and prohibiting firearms in playgrounds.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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