Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham must feel the walls closing in after her unilateral and unconstitutional ban on open and concealed carry was announced last week. Now, her own attorney general announced he will not defend her administration from mounting lawsuits.
On Friday, Grisham surprised the state by issuing an executive order banning carrying firearms in Albuquerque and surrounding Bernalillo County.
Lawsuits came pouring in, and Democratic Attorney General Raul Torrez in a letter flatly rejected defending his state’s leader. The top New Mexico prosecutor declared the governor’s order would be found unconstitutional.
Torrez acknowledged his duty to defend state officials when they are confronted with legal challenges. He declared, however, that his “obligation to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen takes precedence.”
The AG added that he does not believe the emergency order will have a “meaningful impact” on violent crime. He expressed his belief that it will not withstand constitutional scrutiny.
Torrez further criticized Grisham for springing an ineffective measure onto law-abiding citizens that violates their rights.
BREAKING: New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez has informed New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham that he will not defend her in the lawsuit filed by the National Association for Gun Rights over her unconstitutional executive orders.
"I do not believe that the Emergency… pic.twitter.com/rJ4hhLczrF
— National Association for Gun Rights (@NatlGunRights) September 12, 2023
Grisham couched her executive order as a public health emergency, but Torrez rejected this notion as well. He wrote that it is “unwise to stretch the definition of a public health emergency to encompass something that is fundamentally a public safety issue.”
The governor’s office struck back at the criticism from within. Press secretary Carolina Sweeny said Tuesday that the governor in fact did not request for Torrez to represent the state in court.
Sweeny said her boss “is looking for state leaders to step up and take bold steps to make New Mexicans safer from the scourge of gun violence. We invite the attorney general to turn his attention to that effort.”
She also defended Grisham’s executive order, claiming that it does not suspend constitutional rights. She then said it merely applies to state laws over which the governor has jurisdiction.
A pair of Republican state Reps., Stefani Lord and John Block, called for the governor’s impeachment. Block told Fox News Digital that Grisham is a “rogue governor.” He called her action “an abhorrent attempt at imposing a radical, progressive agenda on an unwilling populace.”