Former appeals court judge discusses Democracy in Peril at Miller Center event
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Democracy in Peril was the theme of the 23rd Annual Henry J. Abraham Distinguished Lectureship at the Miller Center, which took place Tuesday.
Former Judge Michael Luttig, who served as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Fourth Circuit, was the special guest at the event. He also testified against the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The former judge shared his view on the current state of democracy.
"American democracy and the rule of law are in peril,” Luttig said.
According to Luttig, democracy is on the brink of collapse. He says America's polarizing politics have made the country more divided than ever.
"Poisonous, polarized politics is eating away at the fabric of our society,” said Luttig.
And he says both parties are to blame.
"At the moment, no one is of a mind to do anything about it. In order to address this, most serious of problems, our political leaders have to put their country above their party politics. And up to now, they're unwilling to do that,” Luttig said.
He goes on to say that the foundation of America is under siege from those who hold the power.
"The institutions of our democracy, and of law, are under vicious, unsustainable, unendurable attack, from within,” said Luttig.
Luttig shares his experience testifying against the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and the impact it will leave in history.
"Jan. 6 was one of, if not the single most important, political and constitutional event in American history. Those who would deny it occurred, or those who would deny that it wasn't what it in fact was, want to support the former president and themselves, at the expense of the county,” he said.
He says that America is in dire need of an awakening, and when the younger generations realize that the hope for the future lies in the values and virtues of America.
With a room full of eager listeners, Luttig said it's a privilege being a guest speaker.
"It's the highest honor of my life to be here at the Miller Center today and especially to speak in honor of former professor, Henry Abraham. It just doesn't get any better than that,” Luttig said.
Luttig says that politicians won't change, but his desire is for America to return to the great nation it once was, and he hopes, will continue to be.