Vice President Biden addresses judicial conference in Wilmington

Vice President Joe Biden told a conference of judges and justices that the rule of law is an example of American exceptionalism that could serve as an example for the rest of the world.

The Vice President addressed a Conference of Chief Justices in Wilmington, in the state where he served as a U.S. Senator for more than three decades. 

“I respectfully assert that the United States remains the land of innovation – and we do, by the way – because we cultivate and protect rather than prosecute or persecute people who think different,” Biden told the group of judges, attorneys and law professionals at the Hotel Du Pont.

The Vice President cited his numerous visits to foreign countries as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he said gave him insight into the challenges of developing a free and open legal system in such nations as Russia and China, as well as the Arab world and in countries with repressive regimes.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Biden said a “more deeply embedded rule of law around the world” is needed for a variety of reasons.  “Our businesses must be able to export and invest with confidence that foreign courts will protect their rights and enforce them fairly,” Biden said.  He added that travelers and business people must be “free to journey abroad without fear of arbitrary arrest.”   And, the Vice President said our government needs “competent counterparts in law enforcement and security to help us halt terrorism threats

“We do not seek to remake the world in our image,” Biden said.  “Every country must find its own path to democracy.  But we firmly believe that promoting the rule of law and accountability advances stability and prosperity not just for the United States, but for the entire international community.”

The Conference of Chief Justices is meeting in Delaware for the first time.  The organization’s incoming president is Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal