(CNSNews.com) - President Donald Trump presented former Attorney General Edwin Meese with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday, calling him “an absolute titan of American law and a heroic defender of the American Constitution.”
“Perhaps Ed’s greatest contribution to American law has been his unwavering advocacy to the legal principle that judges must adhere to the original meaning of the Constitution, setting aside their own personal and political views,” Trump said.
“Through the decades, Ed has been one of the most eloquent champions for following the Constitution as written. To ensure fidelity to our founding documents, Ed supported the growth of the Federalist Society and worked to confirm supremely qualified judges, including the late, great Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, whose son just became the secretary of Labor,” he said.
“Ed has advocated for effective law enforcement against over-criminalization, and is always in defense of the Constitution and the system of government designed by our Founders. Ed, you are a loyal fighter for freedom, a champion of law and order, mentor to young Americans, and faithful defender of our Republic,” the president said.
“You are an inspiration to liberty-loving citizens everywhere. You’re just an inspiration, period. Everybody that knows you uses that word: You're an inspiration. On behalf of the grateful nation that I love and that we serve, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for your incredible lifetime of exceptional service and of devotion to our country,” Trump said.
Meese said he’d always be indebted to former President Ronald Reagan, who was a “pivotal part” of Meese’s life.
He praised Trump’s commitment to the Constitution and “to making sure that it's interpreted as it actually reads.”
“And for that, you have appointed these outstanding judges now, which is a monument to justice and the rule of law that will last literally -- literally, for decades, and I'm grateful for that,” Meese said.
He also said he’s grateful for Trump’s “emphasis on religious liberty.”
“Your speech to the United Nations was, I believe, the first by any president to talk about that subject before this august body, and there's no group that needed that encouragement more on that particular subject,” Meese said.
Trump called on talk radio host Mark Levin, who served as Meese’s special assistant, then chief of staff, to say a few words.
“Well, it's a great honor to be here with two great men, President Trump and Attorney General Meese, and it was an honor to work for you as special assistant, then chief of staff, through the good, the bad, and the ugly, and you accomplished many, many things as attorney general of the United States, and you've always been wonderful to my family, you and Ursula,” Levin said.
“You're family to us, and you always will be, and this is a great honor, and I can't think of a better person to receive it. and, Mr. President, I want to thank you for everything you're doing for this country. I've known two great presidents: Ronald Reagan and you. And I'm sorry you're going through what you're going through, but I want you to know there's tens of millions of people who stand with you. So, God bless you,” he said.