Sup. Ct. Issues ‘Insurrection’ Decision

( – In a crucial ruling, whose repercussions could be huge, the US Supreme Court has decided that states may ban people from holding state office over participation in the January 6, 2021, events at the US Capitol – after previously ruling that states cannot disqualify former President Donald from federal office.

Thus, the new decision does not technically contradict the March 4 ruling in Trump’s appeal against Colorado’s attempt to block him from the federal primary and presidential ballot, National Review points out in a report.

On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Couy Griffin, a convicted official from New Mexico, who was prohibited from holding office due to his participation in the January 6 events, citing the Constitution’s insurrection clause.

This decision maintains the judgment from a lower court that Griffin, previously a commissioner in Otero County, cannot serve in public office in New Mexico anymore.

The Supreme Court’s decision cited Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, the so-called “insurrection clause.”

It affirmed that state candidates could be disqualified by states if they have taken part in an insurrection or rebellion against the US government.

This ruling contrasts with a different outcome in the case involving former President Donald Trump regarding his eligibility on the Colorado ballot, the report notes.

In Trump’s case, the Supreme Court unanimously determined that states do not have the authority to disqualify candidates for federal positions, including the presidency; this responsibility falls exclusively to Congress.

“We conclude that states may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But states have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 concerning federal offices, especially the presidency,” the Supreme Court said in its March 4 ruling.

Consequently, Trump was reinstated on the GOP primary ballot in Colorado, leading to his eligibility in all other states that had sought to prevent him from running for the presidency in 2024.

In September 2022, Griffin was removed from his position on the Otero County Board of Commissioners by a state judge, following his misdemeanor convictions earlier that year related to his involvement in the Capitol riot, although he did not enter the Capitol building.

Griffin became the second individual convicted at trial among those charged for the events of January 6.

He also has the unique distinction of being the first modern official to be disqualified from office under the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, primarily to prevent former Confederate officials from returning to positions of power after the Civil War.

The legal battles involving both Griffin and Trump received significant support from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal watchdog group.

Griffin has been famous as a co-founder of Cowboys for Trump, an organization that supported the former president through horseback caravans.

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