The following message was delivered to the Elon Law community on January 6, 2021, following the violent events inside the U.S. Capitol while "Congress was undertaking solemn processes and procedures required by our Constitution and prescribed by law."
Students, graduates and colleagues:
The events I am watching at our nation’s Capitol this afternoon are simply appalling and contrary to everything that anyone committed to the rule of law believes in. For the first time in over 200 years, since the War of 1812, the United States Capitol was breached by violence, today committed by a violent riotous mob while the Congress was undertaking solemn processes and procedures required by our Constitution and prescribed by law. It is heartbreaking.
As law students, lawyers, and others who have dedicated our lives to promoting the rule of law and preparing lawyers who will swear allegiance to the Constitutions of the United States and other American jurisdictions, we should be repulsed and horrified by this conduct and that which has led to it. But we also must recommit ourselves to that very rule of law to ensure that this conduct does not happen again. This motivation must serve to encourage us in our studies and in our work so that we as law students, lawyers and others who support those studies and work remain part of the solutions necessary to our collective and national efforts for healing the disruptions and divisions that characterize our contemporary national, regional and local life. Please fulfill those commitments and obligations as we work together to heal our nation.
Dean and Professor of Law
Elon University School of Law