Supreme Court rejects last-ditch effort to reinstate New Mexico politician tied to Jan. 6

Plus, Georgia Republicans are attempting to block state libraries from collaborating with a national librarian organization.

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Today, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Couy Griffin, a one-time New Mexico county commissioner who was challenging his removal from office due to his participation in the Jan. 6 attacks. 

As it stands, Couy Griffin, who was convicted for trespassing during the riot, is the only U.S. elected official to be barred from office for his role in the insurrection. The decision by the highest court came after the New Mexico Supreme Court also declined Griffin’s appeal. 

Griffin’s initial legal fight was decided in 2022 by a New Mexico judge, Francis Mathew, who invoked the 14th Amendment when he permanently banned Griffin from office. The amendment states that those “engaged in insurrection” should be barred from public service, leading to Griffin’s removal from the Otero County Commission.  

“It’s a disappointment like I haven’t felt in a long time,” Griffin told The Guardian after the Supreme Court’s rejection. “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.”

The Court paid little mind to Griffin’s appeal, providing no rationale for their decision and no dissenters on the opinion. 

“We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office,” the Court ruled.

At first, the judgment may seem in stark contrast with the Supreme Court’s overruling of efforts by Colorado citizens to remove former President Donald Trump from their state’s presidential ballot — a legal battle that was waged on similar grounds. 

But, as the Court explained in their Trump v. Anderson ruling: “States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 [of the 14th Amendment] with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency.” 

Local Lens

Republicans in the Georgia state Senate are quietly working to ban their state libraries from using public or private funds to purchase materials from the American Library Association (ALA) on the grounds that the group is a front for a far-left, indoctrination agenda. The bill, which is still making its way through the Legislature, was passed along partisan lines in the state Senate with a vote of 33 to 20.

“No county, municipality, school district, authority, division, instrumentality, political subdivision, or public body corporate created under the Constitution or laws of this state shall be authorized to use any taxpayer or privately donated funds on materials, services, or operations offered by the American Library Association or any of its affiliates,” the bill reads

Such efforts are based on a belief by Republican lawmakers that the ALA is “a Marxist and socialist organization infecting” Georgia’s public libraries. These claims are based on campaigns launched by the ALA to expand library curriculum that focuses on LGBTQ topics. They also refer to a now-deleted post on X by the ALA’s president Emily Drabinski which included a reference to her “Marxist lesbian” identity. 

Georgia state Sen. Larry Walker III (R-Perry), who is leading the charge, told National Public Radio  he believes the goal of the ALA is to run libraries into "political indoctrination centers ... promoting aberrant sexual behavior and socialist anti-American rhetoric."

"I feel this is kind of being forced on our children and kind of shoved down our throat," Walker said. "I'm a pretty tolerant individual, but this has gone too far."

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Jamie Larson