Official version from the Department of Justice. This version was prepared in advance and then released after the speech was delivered.
Version published by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights; with audio and still photographs.
Version published on American Rhetoric. Includes an audio recording.
Respect for Law, 48 ABA Journal 31 (Jan. 1962); authored by Robert F. Kennedy
On May 10, 1961 Rep. John Brademas of Indiana made remarks praising Attorney General Kennedy's speech. Those remarks are available in the Congressional Record, 107 Cong. Rec. A3263 (daily ed. May 10, 1961) (statement of Rep. Brademas).
During the speech, Attorney General Kennedy highlighted three "major areas of difficulty within the purview of my responsibilities that sap our national strength, that weaken our people, that require our immediate attention." These included organized crime, corrupt practices in business and by unions, and civil rights which included school desegregation. These would continue to be areas of focus for the rest of his professional life.