Secretaries of State play a key role in ensuring those who engaged in the January 6 insurrection are not permitted to run to represent the government they tried to overthrow.
In a letter sent today, CREW urged each Secretary of State to consider the recent ruling in New Mexico which found Otero County Commissioner and Jan. 6 participant Couy Griffin to be constitutionally disqualified from ever again holding state or federal office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment’s Disqualification Clause. This ruling, and past history, provides helpful guidance for Secretaries of State in determining whether candidates are constitutionally eligible to appear on the ballot.
Making ballot eligibility determinations, especially in light of this court ruling, is consistent with a Secretary of State’s oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. The New Mexico court’s decision sets a high bar for disqualification, but there are current and prospective candidates throughout the country who, under the court’s standard, are likely disqualified from public office and thus should be excluded from the ballot.
Where the evidence supports disqualification, it is the constitutional duty of Secretaries of State to act accordingly.