Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy painted a dismal picture of injustice and lack of opportunity in much of the world, then told lawyers Monday that they must do something.
Kennedy used a ceremony in which the American Bar Association presented him its highest award to talk about the plight of rape victims who must pay a fee before they file a complaint, young girls used by their families to have sex with tourists, prisoners who develop gangrene because they get no medical care.
''The rule of law and your own freedom are not secure unless you address problems in those countries,'' Kennedy said. ''What can you do about it? Heave the kind of mandatory sigh of despair and then go on because no concrete solutions are being offered? But we have no other choice.''
Kennedy received the ABA Medal. Past recipients include Justices William Brennan, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Thurgood Marshall and Sandra Day O'Connor.