State Republicans file impeachment articles against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Two Republican members of the state House announced they’ve officially filed articles of impeachment against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
In a social media post, representatives John Block and Stefani Lord claim the governor violated her constitutional oath when issuing a public health order on gun violence back in September.
But will this actually go anywhere? KOB 4 talked to UNM Law Professor Joshua Kastenberg, who says all signs show this is basically dead on arrival.
According to the state Constitution, all the power to impeach is left up to the House of Representatives.
Kastenberg says if the state House does decide to vote on the articles of impeachment, the only way they would move forward is with a majority supporting them.
More than likely that won’t happen because Democrats hold the majority in the House. He says impeaching a governor is not an easy thing to do.
The root of impeachment is crime, corruption, or a complete inability to do the job.
Representatives Block and Lord filed the articles saying the governor violated her constitutional oath when she put that public health order in place. It limited where people could carry firearms in Bernalillo County.
A federal judge ruled against it, and the governor made changes. For example, restricting firearms in parks and where children play.
The controversial order made its way to the state Supreme Court earlier this month. We’re still waiting on a ruling.
“To me, that’s a throwaway line that’s meaningless at this point because the governor asserted a power she might not have had, but it was challenged in the courts and there’s no evidence that she won’t abide by the New Mexico Supreme Court decision. So at this point it’s a publicity stunt,” said Kastenberg.
If the House voted to impeach, Kastenberg says it would go to the state Senate where Democrats also hold the majority.
State senators would then decide whether the governor is guilty of violating the oath of office. It would require a two-thirds majority to remove her from office.
KOB 4 spoke to both representatives Block and ord about what more than likely will be an uphill battle.
“But I think each individual member did swear that oath on the Constitution, and I sure hope they look into their hearts, but also listen to their districts to see where they want their constituents — if their constituents want them to vote for this,” said Block.
”It’s a violation of oath. It’s not partisan at all. This has everything to do with when she raised her hand, she promised to uphold her oath, and she violated that, and that’s why we’re bringing this forward,” Lord.
KOB 4 did get a statement from the governor’s office Wednesday:
“It’s embarrassing that these legislators, elected to represent the people of their districts, are not pursuing a single piece of meaningful legislation to address the issues that New Mexicans are literally begging them to address (public safety, education, housing and homelessness, health care) but are more interested in political stunts.“