A federal judge ordered Tuesday a New Mexico politician be removed from office because of his involvement in the January 6 coup attempt at the United States Capitol.
Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin—who is also the founder of a group called Cowboys for Trump—will be removed from his post after watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed suit against Griffin in March after his involvement in the insurrection was revealed.
The decision marks the first time in more than a century a court has issued such a ruling for participation in an act of insurrection.
\u201cBREAKING: A judge just ordered NM County Commissioner Couy Griffin removed from office under the 14th Amendment. This is the first time in 100+ years a court has disqualified a public official for participating in an insurrection. https://t.co/glAMvd2dOM\u201d— Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics) 1662477156
CREW and its lawyers alleged in their lawsuit Griffin violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits elected officials from "engaging in insurrection or rebellion.”
Griffin was not accused of participation in any violent acts on January 6, but federal Judge Francis J. Mathew of the New Mexico District Court ruled Griffin having trespassed on restricted grounds and having “normalized and incited violence” constituted acts of insurrection.
An eyewitness to Griffin's activities testified Griffin also took on a leadership position during the insurrection and filmed himself making violent comments on social media.
CREW President Noah Bookbinder heralded the decision as a "historic" win for the rule of law.
In the group's press release about the court decision, Bookbinder said:
“This is a historic win for accountability for the January 6th insurrection and the efforts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power in the United States..."
“..This decision makes clear that any current or former public officials who took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and then participated in the January 6th insurrection can and will be removed and barred from government service for their actions."
On Twitter, many cheered the court's decision and called for Section 3 to be applied to more insurrectionists.
\u201c@CREWcrew Reminder - Coupy Couy wanted martial law declared so Trump could seize back power.\u201d— Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics) 1662477156
\u201c@CREWcrew THIS is what I've been talking about! Under these very same laws and justifications, there are A LOT of people needing to be removed from office or PREVENTED from ever running again.\n\nSo this is what it looks like when we use The Constitution for its intended purpose? Who knew.\u201d— Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics) 1662477156
\u201c@CREWcrew THANK YOU, citizen for ethics! Thank you! Derrick Evens is next, I hope. He was convicted too. Good work. https://t.co/7qq3bJqyGE\u201d— Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics) 1662477156
\u201c@CREWcrew You know what that means? Precedent!\u201d— Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics) 1662477156
\u201c@CREWcrew More of this needs to happen.\u201d— Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics) 1662741416
\u201c@antifaoperative Awesome. Now do Congress, governors, Secretaries of State, all state and local officials and candidates for every elected position in November please.\u201d— \ud835\udc01\ud835\udc1e\ud835\udc24\ud835\udc2c (@\ud835\udc01\ud835\udc1e\ud835\udc24\ud835\udc2c) 1662478277
\u201c@MuellerSheWrote Check out \u00b6 31. https://t.co/RGjDrFVabW \n\n"Section 3's framers would have regarded the events of January 6th *AND* the surrounding planning, mobilization and incitement, as an insurrection."\n\nWonderful language to use in similar against the likes of Gosar, Hawley, etc.\u201d— Mueller, She Wrote (@Mueller, She Wrote) 1662480146
\u201cFake cowboy down! \ud83d\ude02 https://t.co/Rmzh78ywOJ\u201d— THE SAD TRUTH (@THE SAD TRUTH) 1662477413
\u201cDistrict Court Judge Francis Mathew\u2019s decision enforcing Sec 3 of the 14th Amendment against Mr. Griffin for his role in the Jan 6 insurrection is well reasoned and of monumental historical significance. It paves the way to disqualifying ALL who aided and abetted the 1/6 events.\u201d— Laurence Tribe (@Laurence Tribe) 1662483641
\u201c@NoahBookbinder @CREWcrew Who's next?? Boebert? Marj 3 names? I don't care to remember the names of the others but there are so many insurrectionists to choose from! \n\nI'm ready to see some accountability!\u201d— Noah Bookbinder (@Noah Bookbinder) 1662477913
\u201c@duty2warn Are you saying our Constitution works?!?!\u201d— Duty To Warn \ud83d\udd09 (@Duty To Warn \ud83d\udd09) 1662478249
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was put in place in the wake of the Civil War with the intent to deal with treason on the part of members of the former Confederacy as part of the post-war Reconstruction of the South.