The rule of law flows from the people and serves as a restraint on the arbitrary exercise of power. It is a principle under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws that are promulgated publicly, enforced equally, and adjudicated independently, consistent with our Constitutional and human rights principles. It is the core principle of a government of, for and by the people in which no person or institution is above the law.
In recent years, months and days, and particularly since the Presidential election on November 3, 2020, our independent judiciary has stood as a guardian of our freedoms. However, unchecked rhetoric, untethered to truth, and easily spread to and believed by millions, led to the violent threat to the rule of law we witnessed on January 6. Thankfully the attack was unsuccessful, but it should never have been encouraged or have occurred in the first place.
Like so many dates in our nearly 250-year journey as a nation, January 6, 2021, should live in the annals of our history as an inflection point - the point when we pulled back from the precipice and reaffirmed our values as a free people, self-governed by the rule of law. To ensure history sees it that way, each of us, in word and deed, individually and on behalf of our institutions and businesses, must insist upon and be guided by truth and the law in all of our dealings.
Since its founding in 1977, the New England Legal Foundation has stood for the rule of law and the upholding of our federal and state Constitutions. NELF joins all others in denouncing in the strongest possible terms what occurred at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. We also affirm our support of freedom of expression, informed by facts and respect for differences of opinion. We are proud of our reputation for the pursuit of truth in our courts, reasoned decision-making under the law, and a society that is free and just for all. We reaffirm today our dedication to these principles, and urge our fellow citizens and the leaders of our federal and state government to join us in working to ensure the smooth transition of power on January 20, 2021 and that scenes like those we witnessed at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, will never be repeated.