The New Mexico Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from “Cowboys for Trump” founder Couy Griffin to overturn a decision that barred him from holding public office for life under the 14th Amendment’s Disqualification Clause.
Griffin was arrested and convicted for entering restricted areas at the Capitol on Jan, 6, 2021. At the time, he was serving as a commissioner of Otero County, New Mexico, where he was elected in 2018. But residents began pushing to have him removed from office in 2021 for a number of reasons, including allegedly using his position to promote Cowboys for Trump.
The Otero County commissioner has become notorious for trying to help former president Donald Trump undermine the 2020 election, including pushing for a “forensic audit” of the 2022 election results that never saw the light of day.
Earlier this year, three New Mexico residents, with the help of the watchdog group Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), petitioned for Griffin to be removed from office over his active participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection. The residents alleged in the complaint that Griffin brought multiple firearms with him to Washington, D.C. and gave speeches “encouraging people to go to Washington and stop the transfer of power.” Griffin was allegedly photographed scaling a wall to get closer to the Capitol building.
On Sept. 6, a federal judge ruled that Griffin was disqualified from holding public office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits anyone who “hold[s] any office, civil or military, under the United States” from engaging in “insurrection or rebellion” against the country — marking the first time a public official has been ousted under the clause since 1869.
Griffin appealed the decision to the New Mexico Supreme Court on Sept. 20; the case was dismissed on Tuesday afternoon on procedural grounds. The Supreme Court ruled that Griffin failed to follow proper appeals procedures.
“This is an affirmation that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment can and should be enforced against all the January 6th insurrectionists who took an oath to defend the Constitution, whether they are current or former officeholders,” CREW senior vice president Donald Sherman said in a statement, “Today is an important day for our democracy.”