The Capitol and the Rule of Law

American Flag In Motion

Partner Stephen G. Larson shares a statement with the firm condemning the insurrection in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.

Dear Colleagues,

Last week’s insurgency at our Capitol was a dark day in the history of our Republic. By resorting to violence and destruction in an attempt to thwart the constitutional transition of power from one administration to the next, the individuals involved, and those who encouraged them turned a lawful protest into an ugly assault upon our democracy and the rule of law. The erection of scaffolding complete with a hangman’s noose and the waving of Confederate battle flags in the corridors of Congress also desecrated our Capitol with poignant reminders of persistent racism and hate.

As lawyers sworn to support and defend the Constitution, we have an affirmative responsibility to invigorate our democratic institutions to carry out the solemn pledge of equal justice under law. While I am proud of the work our firm is doing in this regard, we must do more. Our Nation and our community suffer from open wounds—wounds inflicted through bigotry, injustice, and hatred—that pose as much if not more of a danger to the health of our society than physical threats like COVID-19. 

Resorting to violence to settle differences and seize power has featured in the earliest stories of literature and Scripture alike. Disputes between humans appear unavoidable, and our history and our legends teach that such disputes are settled either by force (“might makes right”) or by law (as Lincoln turned the phrase, “right makes might”). For our part, we lawyers must continually renew our commitment to the rule of law over the rule of force. Upon that commitment rests the possibility of a future marked by justice and truth and peace. Indeed, blessed are the peacemakers.  



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