Former prosecutor Andy McCarthy wrote a column this week suggesting New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham should face federal charges under the same statute the Justice Department is using to charge former President Donald Trump over her move to suspend constitutional gun rights in her state
In a National Review column Monday, McCarthy, a Fox News contributor and former assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, explained that Section 241 of the federal penal code, which is being used by Special Counsel Jack Smith to charge Trump, could be used for Grisham.
“If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same[,] … [t]hey shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both,” the statute says.
McCarthy writes, “Obviously, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D., N.M.) and her subordinates have conspired to injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate Americans in New Mexico in the free exercise and enjoyment of their Second Amendment rights.
“Indeed, her acknowledgment that she expects to be challenged in court underscores both her criminal intent and the fact that the rights she has decided to ‘suspend’ are well established in constitutional law.”
Lujan Grisham issued an emergency public health order Friday, suspending the right to carry guns in public across Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County for at least 30 days after the shooting deaths of three children in the area.
The move was immediately met with intense criticism from conservatives and constitutional scholars along with the attorney general of her own state, who said he won’t defend the executive order.
“For all their Trump-era prattle about norms, Democrats have now established the banana-republic practice of exploiting the criminal law as a weapon in political combat,” McCarthy wrote.
“Moreover, what Grisham has unabashedly done in defying the Second Amendment’s prohibition on governmental denial of the fundamental right of self-defense is more clearly a civil-rights violation than what Trump allegedly did to injure voting rights (see, e.g., United States v. Gradwell (1917), supporting the proposition that the federal civil-rights statute does not reach allegations of voting interference that (a) stretch far beyond the law’s original purpose to protect then-recently enfranchised black voters, and (b) turn on interpretations of state law).”
McCarthy told Fox News Digital he has periodically written over the years that “Congress should defund the Civil Rights Division, because it’s a menace, or we need strong Republican attorneys general who would use the civil rights statute for their intended purpose of protecting the federal rights of Americans.
“Given that special counsel Smith is, I believe, using it in a very political way to do something Section 241 is not designed to do, I thought it would be a good time to suggest an appropriate use of it,” McCarthy said.
Lujan Grisham’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.