NAACP backs Cowboys pullout for Trump co-founder

SANTA FE, NM (AP) — The NAACP supports efforts to bar a New Mexico-based county commissioner from holding public office, alleging the Cowboys for Trump co-founder sought to disenfranchise voters — including people of color – and stoked the insurgency.

The nation’s oldest civil rights organization has urged a state district court judge to remove and disqualify Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin from holding future public office, noting the presence of Griffin during the Capitol insurrection of January 6, 2021 and his recent refusal to certify the local results of New Mexico’s June 7 primary election.

Written final arguments and judgment are pending after a two-day trial against Griffin, who represented himself without an attorney.

In a filing Tuesday, the NAACP noted that Griffin attempted to draw comparisons between the Jan. 6 insurgency and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Legal protests and demonstrations in support of civil rights and the Black Lives Matter movement are fundamentally different from the insurgent conduct that occurred on January 6,” the NAACP said in its briefing.

The three plaintiffs in the lawsuit argue that Griffin should be disqualified from holding public office based on a clause in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states that anyone who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution must be disqualified from office for to have engaged in an insurrection or rebellion or to aid or comfort the enemies of the nation.

Griffin invoked free speech guarantees in his defense and argued that removing him from office would go against the will of the people and set a “dangerous precedent”.

Elected in 2018, Griffin resisted a recall vote last year but is not running for re-election or another position in November.

“If the plaintiffs prevail and a single judge subverts the will of the great people of Otero County, it will be just further evidence of the tyranny we live under now,” Griffin said Friday in an e -mail. “There was already a recall effort against me after Jan. 6. In that recall effort, the people of Otero County spoke up and the recall failed.”

Griffin was found guilty in federal court of a misdemeanor for entering the Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021, without entering. He was sentenced to 14 days and credited for the time served.

The NAACP also shed light on Griffin’s attempts to invoke the plight of 1960s civil rights activists in his own defense. The NAACP briefing also denounces Griffin’s earlier criticism of those who support performances at football games of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, also known as the Black National Anthem.

In a July 2020 selfie video, Griffin suggested to supporters of the black national anthem “go back to Africa and form your little football teams in Africa and you can play on an old dirt pitch.”

Griffin called his comments the wrong choice words to express what he sees as a double standard that holds white people responsible for racist behavior.

“If there was a group of white people wanting to play a ‘white national anthem,’ I would have had the same response,” Griffin said Friday in response to the NAACP briefing. “And as a white person, I would be disgusted by that idea.”

Griffin voted in June against certifying local primary election results based on a “hunch” with no specific objections.

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