Republican state lawmakers in New Mexico have taken the unprecedented step of filing a resolution to impeach Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Reps. Stefani Lord and John Block have accused the governor of violating her oath to the U.S. Constitution by using emergency public health orders to restrict the right to carry firearms in some public places.
The lawmakers claim that the governor's actions infringe upon the rights of New Mexicans and that she has overstepped her authority. In a joint statement, Lord and Block stated that they will not stand for Lujan Grisham's "tyranny" and will fight to protect the rights of their constituents. They also criticized the governor for attempting to "destroy our Republic."
Lujan Grisham invoked the emergency orders in response to a surge of gun violence in the state, including the tragic shooting of an 11-year-old boy outside a minor league baseball stadium. The orders restrict firearms in places like parks and playgrounds in the greater Albuquerque area. However, the governor's actions have faced legal challenges, and a judge has allowed enforcement of the gun provision to continue while the cases are being considered.
Republican lawmakers have accused Lujan Grisham of using the emergency orders as a political statement, rather than addressing the underlying issues of gun violence. They argue that the governor's actions are flagrant disregard for the Constitution and the rights of New Mexicans. Block criticized the governor for stating from the outset that she expected legal challenges to her orders.
🚨 JUST NOW: Articles of impeachment (HR1) against @GovMLG have just been introduced in the NM House of Representatives and sent to the House Government, Elections, and Indian Affairs Committee, then they will go to the House Judiciary Committee.
— Rep. John Block (@RepBlock) January 22, 2024
In response to the impeachment resolution, Lujan Grisham spokesperson Maddy Hayden dismissed the effort as a "political stunt." Hayden pointed to the lawmakers' other bills, which have been met with criticism, including criminalizing necrophilia and offering sex offenders an early release from prison in exchange for chemical castration procedures. The governor's office has insisted that the impeachment resolution is simply a distraction from more pressing issues facing the state.
The state legislature is overwhelmingly Democratic, so the chances of the impeachment resolution being successful are slim. Both the House, with a simple majority vote, and the Senate, with a two-thirds vote, must vote to impeach the governor. However, the resolution itself serves as an indication of the growing tension between Republican lawmakers and the Democratic governor.
This is not the first time that Lujan Grisham has faced calls for impeachment. Last year, a group of Republican state lawmakers filed a resolution to impeach the governor for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that effort also failed to gain traction in the Democrat-controlled legislature.
The impeachment resolution comes as Lujan Grisham is facing criticism from both sides of the political aisle. Some have accused her of overreaching with her emergency orders and others have criticized her for not doing enough to address the state's high crime rates. The governor's spokesperson has defended her actions, stating that she is committed to protecting the health and safety of all New Mexicans.
The current impeachment resolution is likely to face pushback from the governor's supporters, who believe that the lawmakers' efforts are politically motivated. Supporters have also argued that the governor's use of emergency orders is necessary to combat the ongoing threat of gun violence in the state. However, it remains to be seen how the resolution will move forward, and if it will have any impact on the governor's actions going forward.
The impeachment resolution is a significant development in the ongoing political landscape of New Mexico. It highlights the deep division between Republican lawmakers and the Democratic governor. As the state continues to grapple with issues such as gun violence and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the political tension in New Mexico is far from over. The fate of the impeachment resolution will serve as a gauge of the current political climate and may have implications for future elections in the state.