Dear MSBA family –
The horrific images and scenes of rioters that broke through one of our most sacred institutions made me sad and, more so, fearful. We as a nation have vigorous debate and disagreement on many issues, red or blue, democrat or republican, but in the end, we reach compromise and resolutions that all agree to uphold and respect. We uphold and respect the rule of law despite it all. That is what has made our democracy the most revered in the world. What happened in our Capitol was the worst of the worst and played no part in our American free way of life. It is shameful and devastating. Seeing members of our Montgomery County and Prince George’s County police forces on the steps of the capital in riot gear was surreal.
Yesterday’s events made me reflect on what it might look like if the Supreme Court or any of our Maryland Courts issued a decision that incited a segment of our community, or if our legislators passed laws that were not viewed positively by a portion of the electorate. Will our leaders incite, encourage, and support, not peaceful demonstrations, but rather riots to insurge and takeover, with physical attacks on the objectionable institutions, thus threatening the very rule of law? The rule of law is where we place our trust, our faith and our lives. That is a bedrock principle of our MSBA.
I applaud Vice President Pence and leaders of both parties in Congress for getting back to business of the people despite the insurrection and tragedy they faced. They are all to be commended for their bravery in upholding the rule of law and their constitutional obligations. This shall be a lesson for all leaders to learn that their words have consequences and can undermine our democracy.
Although we are fiercely apolitical as an organization, representing tens of thousands of attorneys who function as officers of the court, we are just as fiercely loyal to the concept of the importance of the rule of law. We play an important role in society and voicing the importance of our constitutional underpinnings is appropriate for our profession.
I look forward to 2021 being a brighter chapter for us all.