Inauguration is a time for reflection, says a local law professor

SPOKANE, Wash. — Flags replaced people at the Presidential Inauguration, representing Americans who couldn’t attend in person because of the pandemic.

In previous years, there would be hundreds of thousands if not more than a million people descending upon Washington D.C. to witness the President and Vice President be sworn in, and as Dean of the Gonzaga School of Law, Jacob Rooksby puts it, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“It was a really cold January day and we got up early, and waited in a massive line to gain entry, and then finally we did make it in, and you were seated very close to the people next to you, we were fortunate to have some really good seats,” recalled Dr. Rooksby.

It’s a line Dr. Rooksby says was worth the wait. A lot has changed in the last 12 years, not only did Joe Biden go from Senator, to Vice President and now President of the United States, Dr. Rooksby says the nature of democracy has changed as well.

“The events of January 6th and the aftermath, but even prior to that, with challenges to the legal system and seeing how those played out,” said Rooksby.

At just past noon on Wednesday, President Biden gave a message of unity in his inaugural address, following the events of the last four years.

“To all those who did not support us let me say this, hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart and if you still disagree so be it, that’s democracy that’s America,” said President Biden.

Dr. Rooksby want to challenge his students to stay focused and reflect on the obligations that lay ahead of them.

“We are all as lawyers bound to uphold the constitution and we have to recognize that words matter, truth matters and we have roles to play in upholding our allegiance to those things,”

He adds the change to attend the inauguration in 2009 was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but he’s not looking to do it again. Rooksby says the ability to use restrooms were difficult until after you exited the large security perimeter around the Capitol, but the moment meant a lot to his mother who is a big President Obama supporter.