Emperor Michelle I: A lawyer, a lawyer, my kingdom for a lawyer!

(AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

Suspending the Constitution is all fun and games until you look around and even your allies won’t return your calls. Such is life at the moment for Emperor Michelle I of New Mexico, formerly known as Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who thought she could score some virtue-signaling points on the cheap at the expense of law-abiding gun owners. The Emperor and the state now face a slew of lawsuits seeking federal intervention to enforce the US Constitution and punitive measures against a tinpot dictator who claims her oath to the Constitution is “not absolute.”


Late yesterday, the emperor discovered that she had no legal clothes — or at least no legal cover. Attorney General and fellow Democrat Raúl Torrez informed Lujan Grisham that he will refuse to represent her office and the state in these lawsuits, proclaiming that he takes his oath to the Constitution more seriously:

In a letter to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) regarding four impending lawsuit cases, Torrez shared the same sentiments from Democratic and Republican lawmakers and law enforcement, saying the ban violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.

“Though I recognize my statutory obligation as New Mexico’s chief legal officer to defend state officials when they are sued in their official capacity, my duty to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen takes precedence,” Torrez wrote. “Simply put, I do not believe that the Emergency Order will have any meaningful impact on public safety but, more importantly, I do not believe it passes constitutional muster.” …

“While I understand that frustration may have led you to undertake a unilateral approach to addressing the heart-wrenching challenge of gun violence in our community, I urge you to reconsider this course of action,” Torrez wrote.

This prompts a serious question about Lujan Grisham: Did she even bother to check with her allies and legal experts about this move before announcing the suspension of constitutional rights? Bernalillo County sheriff John Allen alluded to talks held with local Albuquerque police, his office, and the governor’s team prior to the announcement and said he’d warned them not to do it. Did no one think to pick up the phone and talk to the ally and the one state official that would have to defend this in court, or did Torrez also warn Lujan Grisham not to proceed?


Torrez’ announcement yesterday makes it appear that Lujan Grisham cowboyed this one from the beginning. But it’s not just the lack of political cover that Torrez’ refusal makes plain and public. Under normal circumstances, the AG and his office would represent the state even in losing causes. By refusing to do so, Torrez leaves Lujan Grisham without an attorney to fight these lawsuits.

And even worse, Torrez’ declaration will certainly enter the court record via the plaintiffs. That makes finding an attorney to take this case on behalf of the state even more problematic. First off, what attorney wants to go on record as having told a federal judge that fealty to the US Constitution is optional? And second, good luck finding an attorney with any enthusiasm when the state AG has already declared that the plaintiffs are right and refuses to take the case on principle on the basis that Lujan Grisham is violating her oath of office.

I’m sure Lujan Grisham will find some attorney to debase in that manner, if she pays them enough. If she can’t, the state will have to default, so Lujan Grisham will beg for help from gun-control groups and pay through the nose. The new attorney won’t have just two strikes against him, though — he’ll be facing a Nolan Ryan no-hitter in the top of the ninth, down 20 runs or so.

So yes, Emperor Michelle I needs an attorney, and we can expect a Help Wanted signal immediately. She may want to leave that signal up for another kind of trial, too — an impeachment/removal trial. With Torrez breaking this publicly with her and declaring her act unconstitutional, that puts additional pressure on fellow Democrats in the state legislature to take action to depose Emperor Michelle I. Let’s get that process started immediately, and return constitutional order and civil rights to the citizens — not subjects — of New Mexico.


Addendum: It looks like the New Mexico state police are also bailing on Emperor Michelle I:

Many law enforcement officials in the state have said they will not enforce the order.

Even New Mexico State Police officers have not issued citations, a spokesman said Tuesday, despite protests in Albuquerque in which demonstrators openly carried firearms.

“I think all of us agree this is unconstitutional,” Brandt said. “There’s a lot of things that have to be done to control crime in Albuquerque, and this isn’t one of them.”

A revolt by law enforcement against the governor/emperor should also prompt the legislature to end this crisis ASAP.

Update: My pal Cam Edwards reports this morning that Lujan Grisham had better find someone fast. All parties in the lawsuit are due in court today at 1 pm MT, which suggests that US District Judge David Urias isn’t waiting around for New Mexico to argue mootness:

On Tuesday afternoon, not long after the original hearing in Donk v. Grisham was supposed to take place, Urias issued a new order in that case and the other lawsuits that have been filed alerting the parties to a new hearing date: today at 1 p.m. Mountain Time.

With New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez refusing to defend the governor’s order, it’s still unclear who will be on hand to represent Grisham in federal court this afternoon, but whoever it is will be facing a bevy of plaintiffs attorneys with the same message for Urias: put Grisham’s order on ice because it’s violating the Second Amendment rights of their clients.


Cam and I will have plenty to say about this case in our VIP Gold chat, starting at 1:30 ET. Be sure to join and tune in, as we love to take questions and comments from our VIP Gold members!

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