At least 5,000 law school students and alumni have signed a petition urging that Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) be disbarred for their attempt to urge the Senate to reject the Electoral College vote making Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
The petition, organized by students and alumni of Yale Law School — considered the country’s most elite institution of legal scholarship — urges that the state bar organizations of Missouri, Texas, and the District of Columbia remove the law licenses of the two Senators in question.
Co-signatories include Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe, one of the key legal advisers of the Democrats’ failed impeachment against President Donald Trump in 2019-20.
The petition reads, in part (footnotes omitted):
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. 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.
In doing so, Senators Hawley and Cruz 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. 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.
These actions prove Senators Hawley and Cruz fundamentally unfit for membership in the legal profession. Both have 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.”
Notably, the petition fails to cite the legal definition of “incitement,” which excludes “the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts.”
The petition also ignores the Speech and Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 6, Clause 1), which protects parliamentary speech: “…and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.