ALBERTO R. GONZALES
Attorney General of the United States
The Business of Justice: Shared Priorities for 2006
This year, the United States is celebrating the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of our cherished Founding Fathers--Benjamin Franklin. Mr. Franklin wrote to a friend at the end of his life, "I believe I shall in some shape or other always exist." I suppose he was right, since we are celebrating his incredible life nearly three centuries later. He gave us a number of reasons to perpetuate his existence in our nation's consciousness, not the least of which that he was the only person to sign all five of the documents founding the United States, including the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris, and the U.S. Constitution. This great American also had good advice, which I share as particularly apt for a collection of lawyers. "If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." Now, as advocates for the rule of law, we are all charged with pursuing justice, with both an unending passion and a firm dedication to reason and good judgment. In fact, I think that our ability to follow Franklin's advice and equal his dedication as a public servant is imperative to the success of our efforts to ensure justice for every American.