Department of Justice Seal

   May 19, 2005

Thank you, Hew, for that kind introduction.

Good afternoon, colleagues, friends, family. Welcome to the Great Hall of the Department of Justice.

One of the great privileges of being Attorney General, I am discovering, is occasions such as this, in which Justice Department officials, past and present, come together with family members and friends to acknowledge excellence in service to justice.

Today we come together to acknowledge the achievements of four outstanding individuals in the field of antitrust law.

I know that it is customary to begin a celebration such as this with a joke. Well, I’ve had a team of researchers working furiously for days now and I can confidently report to you that there are no jokes about antitrust law. Literally, none at all. But since so many of us are lawyers here – and therefore accustomed to humor at our expense – I guess we can take that as a blessing.

Before I say a few words about the individuals receiving awards today, I want to offer my thanks and appreciation to Hew Pate for his service to the Nation as Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust.

During his time as Assistant Attorney General, and prior to that as a Deputy in the Division, Hew Pate has served the mission of this Division and this Department with dedication, excellence, and integrity. On behalf of the President, the Administration, the colleagues he has worked beside, and the people he has served, I thank Hew Pate for his leadership at the Department of Justice. I wish him and his family well in the adventures that lie ahead.

The mission of the Antitrust Division is to promote competition and protect consumers in the American economy through vigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws. This means that the men and women of the Division have had to perform a delicate balancing act; to know when government must act to promote competition, and when it’s best for government to simply get out of the way.

Today we honor the contributions of four individuals who have consistently achieved this careful balance and who have served the cause of justice through the enforcement of antitrust laws and principles.

Steven Kramer, Robert Kramer, and Kathy Seldin are being honored for their dedication and excellence in enforcement of the Nation’s antitrust laws. Steven is being recognized for long-term achievement in an outstanding litigation career. Robert is being recognized for his excellence, leadership, and dedication in antitrust enforcement. And we honor Kathy for her long-term dedication and consistently excellent performance in support of the Division’s mission.

And it is fitting that Judge Robert Bork – who has been called the most important scholar in antitrust law since the passage of the Sherman Act – receive the Sherman Award today.

The Sherman Award is in recognition of outstanding achievement in antitrust law, contributing to the protection of American consumers and to the preservation of economic liberty. It is the Antitrust Division’s highest award and it is presented today to one of the law’s most faithful and principled servants.

Robert Bork is a distinguished jurist, an unsurpassed legal mind, and a true patriot. I congratulate Judge Bork, Steve Kramer, Bob Kramer, and Kathy Seldin for the honors they receive today. And I thank all of you for your support of the great and worthy work of this Department of Justice. Finally, to the families, I want you to know that I appreciate your sacrifice. No one in government, including those honored today, is capable of any significant level of achievement without the support and understanding of their family.

Thank you all very much.