A New Mexico judge removed Otero County commissioner Couy Griffin from office on Tuesday in a ruling that determined Griffin had participated in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“The irony of Mr. Griffin’s argument that this Court should refrain from applying the law and consider the will of the people in District Two of Otero County who retained him as a county commissioner against a recall effort as he attempts to defend his participation in an insurrection by a mob whose goal, by his own admission, was to set aside the results of a free, fair and lawful election by a majority of the people of the entire country (the will of the people) has not escaped this Court,” Judge Francis Mathew wrote.

The ruling was a result of a lawsuit that argued that Griffin should be banned from holding office under the 14th Amendment which bans insurrectionists from holding federal office. It was a provision adopted in the aftermath of the Civil War in an effort to block Confederates from running for office and trying to overthrow the government.

Couy, who is also the founder of a group called Cowboys for Trump, was convicted earlier this year of breeching Capitol barricades during the riots.


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The ruling is significant as some question whether or not former President Donald Trump could be blocked from running again in 2024 using the same argument. Trump is not the only prominent politician who could fall in violation of the 14th Amendment. Groups in at least four states including Wisconsin and New Mexico, are making efforts to keep members of Congress from their states out of office.

“I’m shocked. Just shocked,” Griffin told CNN in response to the judge’s ruling. “I really did not feel like the state was going to move on me in such a way. I don’t know where I go from here.”

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