As we watched the assault on the United States Capitol, we were reminded once again that we cannot take for granted our constitutional democracy. As lawyers, we have a duty to speak out when our constitutional principles and democracy are under attack.

At JABA, we have a long history of standing up for those who are unjustly targeted, but never did we imagine a day that our vice president, vice president-elect, and members of Congress would be among those who are openly threatened with violence by Americans incited by their own president.

This great country is built upon the rule of law. But it also relies upon the integrity of each and every one of us — to do what may be difficult but right, to seek what is just. And while our views may differ on where we each draw those lines, they ought not differ when it comes to the need to defend our Constitution.

2021 will be full of challenges. The hard work of confronting the long-standing issues of racial injustice, the ongoing pandemic, and the divides in our country have only just begun. As we each navigate the coming days and year ahead, JABA’s Board calls upon all, and especially our leaders, to act with integrity, to condemn those who seek to dismantle the foundation of this country, and to hold steadfast to the principles that are the bedrock of our constitutional democracy.

Japanese American Bar Association Board of Governors

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