After being found guilty of a misdemeanor in connection with the Capitol intrusion on January 6, 2021, a county commissioner in New Mexico will soon be subject to a punishment designed for former Confederates after the Civil War. According to Politico, Couy Griffin was found guilty in March of violating a court order by entering the Capitol that day.
Griffin was “banned for life” from holding any federal, state, or municipal office, including his present post as Otero County commissioner, according to a state district judge’s judgment on Tuesday. Let me reiterate, Griffin is no longer permitted to hold public office, according to Judge Francis J. Mathew of the 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe. This is because of the 14th Amendment.
The county commissioner, according to Mathew, broke his oath of office by taking part in a “insurrection” and engaging in it. Participants in an insurrection are prohibited from holding civil office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the rule was passed after the Civil War because the Union wanted to prevent former Confederate authorities from reclaiming control. Griffin did not, however, start shooting at Fort Sumter.
According to Source New Mexico, the originator of “Cowboys for Trump” was sentenced to 14 days in jail for his lone nonviolent misdemeanor offense. In relation to a second accusation of rowdy and disruptive behavior, the political activist was found not guilty.
According to Source New Mexico, the county commissioner was not charged with actually entering the Capitol during the commotion. According to Mathew’s decision, Griffin was found guilty of “illegally crossing various security barricades and invading restricted Capitol grounds.” The county commissioner didn’t use aggression throughout the incident, the judge acknowledged.
Even while Mr. Griffin did not directly use violence, he “supported the uprising,” according to Mathew. Mr. Griffin “contributed to the postponement of Congress’s election-certification processes by joining the crowd and trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds.”
That doesn’t really have the same “insurrection” ring to it as destroying the federal forces at the Battle of Bull Run, does it?
According to Heritage Library, the federal government extended extensive amnesties following the Civil War, completely restoring the civil rights of the majority of former Confederates.
It’s difficult to believe that those who created Section 3 of the 14th Amendment intended to impose life sentences for trespassers who served just two weeks in prison. According to the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Mathew’s decision is the first instance since 1869 in which a judge has ruled that a citizen is unable to hold elective office under the 14th Amendment.
The decision has the immediate effect of removing Griffin from his position. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, he called the decision made on Tuesday a “disgrace.”
When the county manager informed Griffin that someone had previously entered his office and taken his computer, Griffin said: “I was astonished this morning.”
“That I’m no longer a county commissioner” and “that they had already changed the code on the door.”
He said that he intended to challenge Mathew’s decision, in part on the justification that the judge lacked the authority to remove him from his position. Griffin stated that while he had no plans to compete for elected government once more, he would be open to being appointed if former President Donald Trump were to take power again.