January 11, 2021

Accountability Needed for All Who Engaged In or Supported Seditious Acts

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez, media@acslaw.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- American Constitution Society President Russ Feingold released the following statement today in response to the ongoing revelations regarding the Trumpist insurrection.

"For many ACS members, and Americans from all walks of life, the enormity of the events of last week are only now fully sinking in. An insurrectionist mob stormed the Capitol, intent on reversing the election outcome and installing Trump as President.

We now are beginning to understand, as it was so difficult to in the initial chaos, that at least some of the insurrectionists were determined to kidnap and – according to their own words – execute political leaders. They unleashed mob violence and committed murder.

They did so at the instigation and with the encouragement of the President, others in the administration and members of Congress. For lawyers and law students, it is a source of at least some additional outrage that many of the ringleaders were members of our profession.

Just who was complicit we do not yet know. But what we do know, and must insist upon with utmost vigor, is that there can be no moving on, no turning of pages, without full accountability for all who engaged in or supported these seditious acts.

The insurrectionists committed numerous crimes, and those who did so must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. For political leaders who violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution impeachment and expulsion would be appropriate, as the case may be.

And for lawyers, who have also sworn separate oaths to uphold the Constitution, disbarment and removal from our profession would also be appropriate. And highly desirable.

Accountability – accountability for all who directly or indirectly fomented sedition, shed blood and took life to subvert democracy and our Constitution – must be our watchword as events unfold in the coming days and months."


ACS believes that the Constitution is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We interpret the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter @acslaw