Kennedy calls on Stanford graduates to spread justice

Chris Rizo Jun. 14, 2009, 5:45pm

Anthony Kennedy

PALO ALTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)- U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy told Stanford graduates Sunday to help spread principles of justice.

Speaking a his alma mater, where he received his bachelor's degree in political science in 1958, Kennedy made no mention either of cases before the nation's highest court or of the pending nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Instead, he focused on the need to spread the principles of American freedom when addressing Stanford's 118th Commencement.

"With our own freedom comes the duty to share it with others," Kennedy said. "Freedom is the birthright for all humankind."

He said Americans should help bring fair and honest judicial systems to countries that don't want them or fail to understand their value.

"More than half the people in the world live outside the law. More than half the people in the world have either not the will or the capacity to seek freedom," Kennedy said. "And this must change."

Kennedy was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Stanford awarded 1,735 bachelor's degrees, 2,039 master's degrees and 925 doctoral degrees at its ceremony Sunday.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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