Michael Adams.jpegMs. Powell, through her words and acts, resurrects the wisdom of the past. It was Edmund Burke who reminded his followers more than once that “Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any eminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all.”

And Charles de Montesquieu reminded us that “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice”—to which we might add Ms. Powell’s lesson: that justice remains a mere abstraction unless men of conscience practice it religiously every day.

From Michael Adams, Ph.D. University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor of English; Associate Director, James A. Michener Center for Writers, University of Texas, Austin