A county commissioner in New Mexico is facing a punishment created for former Confederates after the Civil War following his conviction on a misdemeanor in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion.
Couy Griffin was convicted in March on a charge of entering a restricted area stemming from his presence at the Capitol that day, according to Politico.
In a Tuesday ruling, a state district judge declared Griffin “barred for life” from holding any federal, state or local office — including his current position as Otero County commissioner.
Judge Francis J. Mathew of the 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe said he was permanently prohibiting Griffin from holding government office under the 14th Amendment.
Mathew accused the county commissioner of participating in an “insurrection” and thus violating his oath of office.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars participants in an insurrection from holding civil office.
Griffin didn’t open fire at Fort Sumter, however. The “Cowboys for Trump” founder served 14 days of jail time as a punishment for his singular nonviolent misdemeanor conviction, according to Source New Mexico.
The political activist was acquitted on a second charge of disorderly and disruptive conduct.
The county commissioner wasn’t accused of entering the Capitol building itself during the disturbance, according to Source New Mexico.
Griffin was convicted of “illegally breaching multiple security barriers and occupying restricted Capitol grounds,” according to Mathew’s ruling.
The judge conceded that the county commissioner didn’t engage in violence during the event.
“Mr. Griffin aided the insurrection even though he did not personally engage in violence,” Mathew wrote. “By joining the mob and trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds, Mr. Griffin contributed to delaying Congress’s election-certification proceedings.”
That doesn’t exactly ring “insurrection” like routing the federal troops at the Battle of Bull Run, does it?
It’s hard to imagine that the designers of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment were planning on lifetime penalties for people who did two weeks of jail time for trespassing.
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Mathew’s ruling represents the first time a judge has disqualified a citizen from elected office under the 14th Amendment since 1869, according to the left-wing Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Griffin has been removed from office as an immediate consequence of the ruling.
He described the ruling Tuesday as a “disgrace,” according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
“I was shocked this morning when the county manager called me and told me they had already been in my office and confiscated my computer,” Griffin said.
“That they had already changed the code on the door … and that I’m no longer a county commissioner.”
He said he planned to appeal Mathew’s ruling, in part on the grounds that the judge did not have jurisdiction to remove him from office.
Griffin said he had no intention to run for elected office again but would be interested in an appointed position if former President Donald Trump were to return to the White House.