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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. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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