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Hickey: With Liberty and Justice for All

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IBA-Hickey-ChristineI pledge allegiance to the flag. Authored by Francis Bellamy in 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance was first recited by schoolchildren in October of that year following a proclamation by President Benjamin Harrison. The Pledge has undergone four revisions since that time, and in 1923, the original “my Flag” was changed to “the Flag of the United States” for the benefit of new immigrants.

In 2010, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will conduct 36 naturalization ceremonies. IBA members have agreed to represent the Bar in these ceremonies, providing words of welcome and presenting each new citizen with a book on the Constitution and a voter registration card for use in exercising their new right to vote. That the experience is moving is evident from the remarks of IBA members who have participated on behalf of the Bar.

Of the United States of America. People come from near and far to become citizens of our great nation; from young adults full of hope for things to come to the weathered immigrants who have waited a lifetime to call America their home.

It was interesting how the ceremony had the effect of renewing my own pride of being a U.S. citizen. One of the oldest people being sworn in yelled out ‘YES!’ as he was receiving his certificate. Joshua Casselman, Rubin & Levin, P.C.

I enjoyed [the ceremony] very much. There was a 60-something woman from the Ukraine who was brimming with pride. Her photo with the judge was a family affair. Peyton L. Berg, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

And to the republic for which it stands. That there is no greater body for “the people” can be seen in the eyes of those taking the oath of allegiance.
 

naturalization U.S. Magistrate Judge William G. Hussman presided, Ct Appeals judge Mark Bailey represented the Indianapolis Bar, and George Rubin of Rubin & Levin took Daniel Webster students to witness new citizens being naturalized.

The huge smiles on the faces of the new citizens should be a reminder to those of us who may take our citizenship for granted just what a coveted and precious right it is. We who, just by the luck of birth, happen to be citizens without any effort on our own part, would do well to recognize the enormous effort and determination it takes for someone to become a United States citizen by choice. It should make us humble and ever more appreciative of our privileges and responsibilities as citizens. That was certainly the experience I had after participating in the naturalization ceremonies. Cynthia M. Locke, Stewart & Irwin, P.C.

One nation, under God, indivisible. In the final revision to our Pledge, and based on Lincoln’s use of the phrase in the Gettysburg Address, the words “under God” were added on Flag Day in 1954. That we are a nation of one, indivisible, is confirmed by these ceremonies.

Judge McKinney noted for the newly admitted citizens that the US constitution says “We the people….” not “I the person….”. I found that to be a very astute observation. There were new citizens there from Haiti, Vietnam, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, England, Iran, Nepal, Venezuela and many others. It was a great day to be a representative of the legal profession and the IBA. Lori A. Torres, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Labor

With liberty and justice for all.

In 30 years of litigating in federal court, it’s the only time I’ve ever seen a member of the federal judiciary smiling while sitting on the bench for an hourlong proceeding! One minute the judge was offering to swap robes with a Tibetan monk who was becoming a new American citizen, and the next he was reciting lyrics from an old Willie Nelson song.

The ceremony is quite moving – if it doesn’t put a lump in your throat, you don’t have a heartbeat. As a fourth generation Hoosier and American, I couldn’t help but imagine what it might have been like when my great grandparents raised their right hands to take the oath of citizenship in a thick German accent back in the late 1800s. The racial, ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of those new citizens was rivaled only by the variety of facial expressions as I shook the hand of each in congratulations. When I walked out that ceremony, I felt extremely proud to be an American and a lawyer. David J. Theising Harrison & Moberly, LLP

Thank you to all of the IBA members who represent our profession and our Bar at these ceremonies. I wish you all a happy, safe, and thoughtful Independence Day.•

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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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