The William H. Rehnquist Award is one of the most celebrated judicial honors in the country. It is given each year to a state court judge who demonstrates the “highest level of judicial excellence, integrity, fairness, and professional ethics.” The 2008 recipient, Jonathan Lippman, was recently appointed and confirmed as Chief Judge of the State of New York. Chief Judge Lippman was previously the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the First Judicial Department of the New York State Supreme Court. He was appointed New York's Chief Administrative Judge by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and served from January 1996 to May 2007 and was responsible for the operation of a court system with a $2.4 billion budget, 1300 state-paid judges, 2300 town and village judges, and 16,000 nonjudicial personnel. Among his numerous professional activities, Chief Judge Lippman served as president of the Conference of State Court Administrators from 2005 to 2006 and was the vice-chair of the National Center for State Courts from 2005 to 2006, where he was a member of the Board of Directors from 2003 to 2007. During his tenure, Chief Judge Lippman has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2006 Fund For Modern Courts Cyrus R. Vance Tribute for Vision, Integrity and Dedication to the Fair Administration of Justice Personified by Cyrus R. Vance (November 27, 2006); the New York County Lawyers’ Association Conspicuous Service Award in Recognition of Many Years of Outstanding Public Service (September 28, 2006); and the Award for Excellence in Public Service of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Attorneys in Public Service (January 24, 2006). Chief Judge Lippman received a Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Relations from New York University, Washington Square College, where he graduated cum laude in 1965. He also received his J.D. from New York University in 1968. Below is the speech he delivered after accepting the William H. Rehnquist Award from U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts.