My New Year’s Wish for 2021 is a wish for accountability. I want the coming year to be known as the year in which public figures are held accountable for their words and deeds.

Our constitution’s First Amendment protects a person’s right to tell lies, but it does not protect liars from being held accountable for lying.

There is a reason the Trump campaign’s dozens of post-election lawsuits all ended in ignominious defeat. Their claims were rejected because these attorneys knew that the lies they enthusiastically tell on FOX News would not survive even the mildest scrutiny in a courtroom, and that getting caught telling lies in a courtroom will cost them their law licenses. As a result, Trump’s attorneys wisely refrained from repeating their TV lies before a judge, with predictable results.

Nor does the First Amendment protect liars in public office from the Fourteenth Amendment, which excludes those who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from serving in the United States Congress. This unambiguous rule must be applied to the more than one hundred members of the US House of Representatives who joined the brazenly partisan and fact-free lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General against four other states. These members of congress have, beyond any shadow of a doubt, engaged in an act of sedition against the United States. They have forfeited their right to serve in congress.

There is no way for Utah’s Attorney General, Sean Reyes, to reconcile the oath of office he took, to uphold and defend our constitution, with his own shameful and seditious behavior in this matter. He should be disbarred and removed from office.

We have, sadly, become indifferent to lies. My wish for 2021 is that this indifference ends.

Seth Jarvis

Salt Lake City

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