OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
In an unprecedented decision, a New Mexico judge has unilaterally removed an elected Republican official from the job he was duly elected to do.
The judge cited New Mexico County Commissioner Couy Griffin’s conviction for trespassing during the incident at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 as the reason to remove him, The New York Times reported.
“Mr. Griffin is constitutionally disqualified from serving,” Judge Francis J. Mathew of the New Mexico District Court said.
“This just went from being theoretical to being something that is legally recognized and legally possible,” Noah Bookbinder, director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the residents of New Mexico, said. “That’s hugely significant. It could have real implications for protecting the country from people associated with the effort to overturn the last election.”
In July, a liberal lawsuit aiming to have Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene deemed “ineligible” to run for re-election was tossed.
A judge in Atlanta, Georgia, ruled that Greene can seek re-election in November’s midterms.
“The five voters from Greene’s district sought to have her removed from the ballot, saying that she played a significant role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that disrupted Congress’ certification of Biden’s presidential victory. That was a violation of a rarely invoked provision in the 14th Amendment against insurrection or rebellion, they argued,” the Associated Press reported.
“Represented by Free Speech for People, a national election and campaign finance reform group, the voters filed a complaint with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in March. The voters appealed in Fulton County Superior Court, where Chief Judge Christopher Brasher affirmed Raffensperger’s adoption on Monday,” the report added.
Back in May, a lower court judge rejected the same lawsuit from the liberal group.
Georgia state law states that State Administrative Law Judge Charles Beaudrot had to submit his findings to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Raffensperger accepted the judge’s findings and said Greene is qualified to run for re-election.
“A Georgia administrative law judge issued a decision that Green was eligible to run following claims by five voters filed through the organization Free Speech for People. The lawsuit accused the controversial Northwest Georgia Republican of engaging in insurrection. The judge found that the plaintiffs had not produced sufficient evidence to back their claims,” local news outlet WUGA reported.
“After Raffensperger adopted the judge’s decision, the group that filed the complaint on behalf of the voters vowed to appeal. Free Speech for People has filed similar challenges in Arizona and North Carolina. Greene has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of the law that the voters are using to try to keep her off the ballot. That suit is pending,” the outlet continued.
Last month, an Obama-appointed federal judge allowed a liberal lawsuit aimed at disqualifying Greene from running for re-election.
“The challenge to Greene’s candidacy was mounted by a group of five voters from her congressional district who argued she is ineligible to run for federal office under a provision of the 14th Amendment that was ratified after the Civil War and meant to keep former Confederate officers and officials from holding public office again,” CBS News reported.
“In a challenge filed with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in late March, the voters argued Greene voluntarily aided and engaged in the January 6 insurrection to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power, thereby disqualifying her from serving as a member of Congress under the constitutional provision,” the report continued.
“Greene asked a federal court in Atlanta to intervene in the effort from the group of voters, seeking a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. But Judge Amy Totenberg of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia rebuffed Greene’s request, finding she failed to establish a strong likelihood of success on the legal merits of the case,” the report added.
“This case involves a whirlpool of colliding constitutional interests of public import,” Totenberg wrote in her 73-page decision.
“The novelty of the factual and historical posture of this case — especially when assessed in the context of a preliminary injunction motion reviewed on a fast track — has made resolution of the complex legal issues at stake here particularly demanding,” the judge added.