Mar 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court lets Cowboys for Trump co-founder's "insurrectionist" ban stand

Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin waves an American flag while riding a horse up Sixth Avenue during the COVID-19 pandemic on May 1, 2020 in New York City.

Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin in New York City in 2020. Photo: Gotham/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court declined an appeal on Monday from Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin against his disqualification from public office in New Mexico over his role in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The former county commissioner was the first person in over a century to be removed from office under the 14th Amendment — the clause the Supreme Court ruled that states couldn't use to bar former President Trump from the primary ballot.

The big picture: The justices did not give a reason in rejecting Griffin's appeal. However, they wrote in their ruling earlier this month for Trump against being barred from Colorado's primary ballot that while states have no power in enforcing the "insurrection" clause at a federal level, it's a different matter more locally.

  • "We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office," the justices wrote in regards to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment in their unanimous decision for Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Zoom in: Griffin was convicted in 2022 for breaching the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and was sentenced to 14 days in jail but given credit for time served.

  • The former Republican official from Tularosa in southern New Mexico was disqualified from serving in public office ever again because of his participation in the Capitol attack. He survived a recall petition campaign in September 2021.

What they're saying: Griffin's lawyer, Peter Ticktin, told the New York Times the legal team was "looking to see if there is a way to return to the courts of New Mexico so that justice can be done."

  • Griffin expressed his disappoint in a text message to The Guardian, noting: "As I sit right now the only office I can run for is the executive office. Trump needs a vice president who can stand strong through the hardest of times. And I can only pray I'd be considered."
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