A STATEMENT FROM DEAN AND DONALD J. FARAGE PROFESSOR OF LAW DANIELLE M. CONWAY
January 7, 2021 — Yesterday, I shared with my colleagues many reasons why we should remember January 6, 2021. Beyond newly elected leaders and public figures demonstrating their unwavering commitment to guarantee the voting franchise for all Americans, there is more to remember about this day.
I will not mince words. Our Temple of Democracy was besieged and defiled by lawless mobs and rioters. They terrorized fellow Americans, public servants, and Capitol police officers. I watched over and over the video of a Black Capitol police officer exercising heroic restraint in not brandishing his weapon on the mob of white men chasing him up the stairs of the Capitol. This scene and the many other criminal acts committed at the Capitol today represent an inexcusable failure of our social contract, a debasement of our system of laws, and a violation of our shared humanity. As Senator Mitt Romney stated: “[This is what happens when] [m]en in power refuse to acknowledge the truth.”
Frederick Douglass, when writing about his part in discerning and affecting history during the final road to disunion (1859-1861) said that “nations are taught less by theories than by facts and events.” You lived through the facts and events on January 6, 2021. Take stock of the facts and events unfolding before you, and draw your line in the sand. Determine what kind of leader you will be in our profession. Decide in this very moment how you will discern and affect history. You must choose truth, freedom, democracy, and humanity.
Here is my truth. I am an American who watched in disgust the shamefulness of the events that transpired yesterday. Yet, I remain an American. I am emboldened to breathe my patriotism and the patriotism of my ancestors into our nation. I commit to being a part of the collective to beat back this coup by embracing even more fiercely the power and the promise of the rule of law. As always, my duty is to defend the United States Constitution, to promote the rule of law, and to represent the most vulnerable among us.