Preface

Article excerpt

It has been said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; according to Edmund Burke, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Liberty requires for its preservation men and women willing to involve themselves in the maintenance of our democracy. The authors represented in this issue are just such individuals-men and women who have had the courage to act to defend liberty and to strengthen democracy. In the pages that follow they share from their experience and recommend action.

The issue begins with a speech delivered by C. Boyden Gray at the Review's spring banquet, where Mr. Gray was recognized as our Jurist of the Year. While much national energy is directed at cultivating democracy abroad, Mr. Gray reminds us to maintain our interest in improving our democratic institutions at home. From contentious judicial confirmations and abuse of the tort system to unaccountable corporate investigations, Mr. Gray sheds light on several threats to the constitutional structure and democratic character of our government.

Next, United States Senator John Cornyn of Texas examines U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's much maligned opinion on the application of the Geneva Convention to terrorists captured and held by U.S. military forces. Senator Cornyn considers Judge Gonzales's opinion in light of established international law and finds that not only was Judge Gonzales's opinion substantively correct, but it is also endorsed by the community of international lawyers and is widely recognized as good law.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott then takes up Van Orden v. Texas, the Texas Ten Commandments case, which he argued this spring before the U.S. Supreme Court. General Abbott reviews the particular facts of Van Orden, explains that the monument is constitutional under the Court's modern establishment standards, and lays a blueprint for addressing the constitutionality of other religious symbols that are a common part of our public life.

Turning to topics raised in the aftermath of the 2004 elections, Publius urges reform of the American voting system. Unfortunately, voter fraud has a long and infamous history in American elections, and the threat to our democracy from increasingly well-organized voter fraud grows every year. …