The Mizzou Student Bar Association issued a letter Wednesday night criticizing U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and calling for him to resign his position after challenging the Electoral College results of the presidential election and for his role in inciting Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Wednesday’s riots in support of President Donald Trump left four people dead and more than 50 officers injured. Despite the unrest, Hawley, a former MU law professor, persisted in objecting to President-elect Joe Biden’s presidential victory when the Senate reconvened.

Hawley was an MU professor for several years before he was elected Missouri Attorney General in 2016. He was elected to the Senate in 2018.

“This organized opposition to an election that has been fairly conducted (and thoroughly litigated) had no likelihood of succeeding,” read the Student Bar Association statement. “His objection did succeed, however, at inspiring a moment of insurrection resulting in the loss of at least one American life, not to mention the irreparable damage to our nation-at-large.”

“When he left the ranks of our faculty to pursue higher office, he severely damaged the reputation of our institution,” the statement continued. “To him, our school was just another rung in his ladder to the Presidency. We are sad to find today that our U.S. Capitol building has replaced Hulston Hall as the latest casualty in the endless ambition of our former Constitutional Law professor.”

Law School Dean Lyrissa Lidsky also issued a statement to students, faculty and staff of the school condemning Wednesday’s events.

“As a First Amendment lawyer, I view these events as a failure of reasoned public discourse as an antidote to political violence,” she wrote. “As a lawyer, I view them as a threat to the rule of law. As an educator, I view them as a failure of civic education. As a patriot, I pray for our country.”

Although Lidsky’s initial statement didn’t mention Hawley by name, she wrote in a follow-up email to law school alumnus Bryan Utter that, although she said she had never met Sen. Hawley — he left the law school faculty in 2016, before she became dean — she “considers (the senator’s) association with us to be completely terminated.”

Meanwhile, a change.org petition urging the Senate to expel Hawley had garnered more than 70,000 signatures by Thursday evening.

  • Public Health and Safety Reporter, Fall 2020 Studying news reporting/writing Reach me at fmnkm@mail.missouri.edu

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