Former NM county commissioner banned for Jan. 6 uprising loses appeal to Supreme Court.  

Washington — The Supreme Court rejected a former New Mexico county commissioner's appeal on Monday after he was ousted for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol rebellion.

Former Otero County commissioner Couy Griffin, a cowboy pastor who became famous for embracing then-President Donald Trump with horseback caravans, is the only elected official banned from office for the Capitol attack, which disrupted Congress's 2020 electoral certification of Joe Biden.

At a 2022 state district court trial, Griffin became the first former Confederate to be disqualified from office in almost a century under the 14th Amendment. This month, the Supreme Court declared that states cannot keep Trump or other federal candidates on the ballot, but state and local candidates are subject to other rules.

“We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office,” the justices wrote unsigned. Griffin's case may help hold other state and municipal elected officials liable for the Jan. 6 attack.

Republican Griffin was convicted separately in federal court of accessing a Capitol restricted area on Jan. 6 and sentenced to 14 days in prison. Time served following his detention in Washington, when he protested Biden's 2021 inauguration, reduced the punishment. That conviction is appealed.

Griffin claims he entered the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 without knowing it was restricted and tried to lead a throng in prayer using a bullhorn without violence. The new Trump lawsuit verdict ended a push in dozens of states to halt Trump's Republican presidential campaign amid charges he incited the uprising to prevent Democrat Biden from replacing him in 2020.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-leaning group that sued Trump in Colorado, accused Griffin of rebellion on behalf of three New Mexico residents. CREW has argued for probing many state legislators who visited Washington on Jan. 6.

In Griffin's 2022 state district court trial, New Mexico Judge Francis Mathew acknowledged the Jan. 6 attack as an insurrection and found that Griffin assisted it without violence, delaying Congress' election certification proceedings.

Griffin's appeal of the disqualification argued that only Congress can enforce the 14th Amendment's anti-insurrection clause by legislation and asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether Jan. 6's events were a “insurrection” as defined in the Constitution.

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