The NAACP is supporting efforts to bar a New Mexico-based county commissioner from public workplace, alleging that the Cowboys for Trump co-founder has sought to disenfranchise voters — together with individuals of colour — and stoke rebellion.
The nation’s oldest civil rights group urged a state district court docket decide to take away and disqualify Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin from holding future public workplace, noting Griffin’s presence on the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol rebellion and his current refusal to certify native outcomes of New Mexico’s June 7 main election.
Written last arguments and judgement are pending after a two-day bench trial in opposition to Griffin, who has represented himself with out authorized counsel.
In a court docket submitting Tuesday, the NAACP famous that Griffin tried to attract comparisons between the Jan. 6 rebellion and the Black Lives Matter motion.
“Lawful protests and demonstrations in help of civil rights and the Black Lives Matter motion are essentially totally different from the insurrectionist conduct that occurred on Jan. 6,” the NAACP mentioned in its briefing.
The lawsuit’s three plaintiffs argue that Griffin must be disqualified from holding public workplace on the idea of a clause within the 14th Modification to the U.S. Structure that holds that anybody who has taken an oath to uphold the Structure be barred from workplace for partaking in rebellion or revolt or giving assist or consolation to the nation’s enemies.
Griffin has invoked free speech ensures in his protection and argues that eradicating him from workplace would lower in opposition to the desire of the individuals and set a “harmful precedent.”
Elected in 2018, Griffin withstood a recall vote final 12 months however isn’t operating for re-election or different workplace in November.
“If the plaintiffs prevail and a single decide subverts the desire of the good individuals of Otero County, it’s going to solely be additional proof of the tyranny we at present reside below,” Griffin mentioned Friday in an e-mail. “There was already a recall effort waged in opposition to me after Jan. 6. In that recall effort the individuals of Otero County spoke and the recall failed.”
Griffin was convicted in federal court docket of a misdemeanor for coming into Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, with out going inside. He was sentenced to 14 days and given credit score for time served.
The NAACP has additionally highlighted makes an attempt by Griffin to invoke the plight of civil rights activists of the Nineteen Sixties in his personal protection. The NAACP briefing additionally denounces Griffin’s prior criticism of those that help performances at soccer video games of “Elevate Ev’ry Voice and Sing, also called the Black Nationwide Anthem.
In a July 2020 selfie video, Griffin steered supporters of the Black Nationwide Anthem “return to Africa and type your little soccer groups over in Africa and you may play on an previous beat-out dust lot.”
Griffin has known as his feedback a poor selection phrases to precise what he sees as a double normal that holds white individuals accountable for racist habits.
“If there was a gaggle of white individuals desirous to play a ‘white nationwide anthem’ I’d have had the identical response to them,” Griffin mentioned Friday in response to the NAACP briefing. “And as a white particular person I’d be disgusted by that concept.”
Griffin voted in June in opposition to certification of native main election outcomes primarily based on a “intestine feeling” with out particular objections.
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