California Lawyers Association

Statement Regarding Violence at the U.S. Capitol

January 7, 2021 — The California Lawyers Association (CLA) strongly condemns yesterday’s violent occupation of the United States Capitol during the constitutional process of certifying the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.  A commitment to the rule of law, civility, and fairness in the administration of justice is at the heart of CLA’s mission.  Just as elected officials swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” upon admission to practice, all California lawyers take an oath to “support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California.”

Usurping constitutional processes through violence undermines democracy.  The Congressional consideration of the results of the Electoral College was proceeding in a bipartisan manner in a revered place when it was suddenly interrupted.  While other incidents of violence have occurred at the Capitol, it has not been invaded and occupied since the British did so in the 1800s.

We are grateful that law enforcement ultimately retook the Capitol and that the process of bipartisan certification of the Electoral College ultimately continued and concluded.  But as lawyers, we must stand for the rule of law.  Actions that terrorize representatives from both parties and prevent them from carrying out their role in the peaceful transition of power from one duly elected President and Vice President to the next cannot go unremarked.  We condemn the violent takeover and interference with our government and will continue supporting all efforts to safeguard our republic and its over 231-year-old Constitution.

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