Students, faculty, and licensed attorneys associated with Harvard and Yale Universities have signed a petition demanding the immediate disbarment of Republican Senators and future failed presidential candidates Ted Cruz (TX) and Josh Hawley (MO) for their role in Wednesday’s domestic terror attack on the United States Capitol.
Cruz is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Hawley attended Yale. Both institutions are often decried by conservatives as evil bastions of liberal brainwashing.
“We, the undersigned members and students of the legal profession, call on the Missouri, Texas, and District of Columbia Bars to immediately begin disbarment proceedings against Senator Josh Hawley and Senator Ted Cruz,” the petition begins.
Cruz and Hawley proudly spearheaded a challenge to the congressional certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, which led to an armed takeover and occupation of the federal government’s legislative headquarters.
“In leading the efforts to undermine the peaceful transition of power after a free and fair election, Senators Hawley and Cruz attacked the foundations of our democracy. Nearly 160 million Americans exercised their right to vote in the November 2020 election. Dozens of courts rejected unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, and the Electoral College formally ratified President-elect Biden’s victory on December 14, 2020,” the signatories wrote. “Despite these clear expressions of the will of the people—and with full knowledge of the implications of their actions—Senators Hawley and Cruz publicly announced their intentions to object to Congress’s certification of the Electoral College’s votes set for January 6, 2021.”
Cruz and Hawley “directly incited the January 6th insurrection, repeating dangerous and unsubstantiated statements regarding the election and abetting the lawless behavior of President Trump. A violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol,” the petition states. “Five people have died. The nation and the world watched as rioters took over the very halls and chambers that embody our democracy. Yet after the violence and terror of the day’s events, Senators Hawley and Cruz still chose to stand in the chamber of the U.S. Senate and persist in their baseless objections to the will of the people.”
Because of that, the petitioners say, Cruz and Hawley are “fundamentally unfit for membership in the legal profession,” having “flagrantly violated some of the most elementary ethics rules governing the legal profession. In inciting and encouraging a violent insurrection against the U.S. government, they have potentially committed ‘a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.’ And by fanning the fury of aggrieved constituents through false claims of voter fraud, all for their own political gain, they have engaged in ‘conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.'”
The petition pulls zero punches, accusing Cruz and Hawley of committing acts of sedition:
Most importantly, lawyers who betray the very democratic institutions they are charged with protecting and improving as ‘public citizens’ are definitionally unfit for the legal profession. Senators Hawley and Cruz have shown that they have no respect for the courts by deliberately ignoring that judges across the country and the ideological spectrum have rejected President Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. They have shown that they have no respect for the Constitution by violating its words when, as members of Congress, they arguably ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States. Worst of all, they have shown that they have no respect for the American public and our democracy by working tirelessly to disenfranchise tens of millions of voters.
Such egregious breaches of integrity matter. The very existence of our profession is symbiotic with the preservation and furtherance of the American republic. If Senators Hawley and Cruz’s actions do not result in any repercussions for their professional status as lawyers, that silence will send an unmistakable message to the rest of the legal community, to aspiring lawyers, and to the American public: that lawyers cannot be trusted with the task of protecting, let alone improving, our sacred democracy, and that lawyers can denigrate democratic institutions with impunity.
Thus, the petition concludes, “the Missouri, Texas, and D.C. Bars must begin disbarment proceedings against Senators Hawley and Cruz and send the message that the legal profession stands firmly in defense of our democratic institutions. They must do so whether or not Senators Hawley and Cruz plan to assume the roles of advocate and counselor ever again, as private or public lawyers. It is the least our profession can do to protect and defend our most cherished ideals and institutions.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.