Skip to main content

tv   Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Bill of Rights Day  CSPAN  December 14, 2018 11:06pm-11:50pm EST

11:06 pm
held a naturalization ceremony. the ceremony was held in front of the original declaration of independence, the u.s. constitution, and the bill of rights.no additional lighting was allowed in the rotunda to help preserve the documents. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] was allowed in the rotunda. >> god served the united states and america >> chief judge of the united states district court. god save the united states of
11:07 pm
america and this honorable court. please remain standing for the presentation of the colors, the playing of the national anthem, and the retirement of the colors. ♪ (music playing) "star spangled banner" ♪
11:08 pm
♪ (music playing)
11:09 pm
>> please be seated and come to order. this honorable court is now in session. >> good morning ladies and gentlemen. how are you all this morning?
11:10 pm
good. welcome to the museum at the national archives, i'm chief judge howal of the district of columbia. today's a memorable and important milestone for each of the people who are going to be our new citizens today, and it is my privilege and pleasure to preside over the ceremony this morning. the ceremony began this morning with the joint armed forces color guard presenting our nation's flag and the flag of different branches of the u.s. military. we stand for these flags to show our pride in our country, and respect for the military service men and women who help defend its security. the flag is an important symbol and we are fortunate to stand in this rotunda next to the foundational documents that give meaning to this flag. and what our country stands for. the court now recognizes the
11:11 pm
public separations administrator for the united states district court for the district of columbia who will introduce those persons seeking to become new citizens. >> thank you your honor. may it please the court when your name is called please stand, answer here or present, and remain standing.
11:12 pm
(calling names)
11:13 pm
11:14 pm
. >> your honor there are 31 31 ae countries for naturalization, they've each been completed investigations in this case. it has been determined that each applicant is eligible for naturalization at this time. i move upon taking to oath of allegiance each applicant present for having answered to his or her named be granted naturalization of the united states of america. >> i am very pleased to grant the motion. everyone who is going to be a
11:15 pm
new citizen please raise your right hand, and repeat after me the oath of allegiance. >> i hereby declare on oath. that i absolutely and entirely renowns and ubdure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, state or sawrvity, of whom or which i have here to for been a subject of citizens. that i will support and defend, the constitution and the laws of the united states of america.
11:16 pm
against all enemies, foreign and domestic. that i will bear true faith, and allegiance to the same, that i will bear arms, on behalf of the united states. when required by the law. that i will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the united states when required by law. that i will perform work of national importance, under civilian direction when required by law. and that i take this obligation
11:17 pm
freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. so help me god. congratulations to all of our new citizens and their families. [applause]
11:18 pm
>> please rise for the pledge of allegiance. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> everyone please be seated. >> please welcome students from hardy middle school who will recite the preamble of the united states constitution.
11:19 pm
>> we the people of the united states in order to form the more perfect union establish justice ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense promote the general were fare and secure blessing of liberty to oucheses and prosperity to our establish constitution for the united states of america. (applause) [applause] >> thank you hardy middle school. please welcome to the united states david esferriero. >> good morning. and welcome to the rotunda of the national archives. first and foremost
11:20 pm
congratulations to our 31 new citizens and thanks to the hardy middle school for that wonderful reading of the preamble to the constitution. it's an honor to have ruth bader ginsburg here to celebrate your american citizenship. thank you for everyone presiding over to the ceremony this morning. today is the 227th adversity of the ratification of the bill of rights. each year we hold this ceremony. there's no better place to become an american citizen than in front of these hallowed documents. behind me is the constitution which remains the basis on which our federal government is structured. the preamble which the students
11:21 pm
just recited contains three important words. we the people. that captures the essence of our democracy. the constitution gives the power to the people. over to my right is the declaration of independence. the parchment our founding fatherses signed in 1776 in philadelphia. they risked their lives and their families lives and all they owned in signing it. we have them to thank for our freedoms today. and to my left is the bill of rights. the first ten amendments to the constitution. these amendments were added to the constitution exactly 227 years ago today. these amendments are the basic personal rights and freedoms guarantee to each american which you will exercise every day. these documents and charters of freedom make up our foundation as u.s. citizens. i am the grandson of italian immigrants, and great grandson
11:22 pm
of irish immigrants. using packages i covered that my grandfather, at age 15 arrived in boston from naples aboard the ship commonwealth on march 22, 1903. my grandmother from naples arrives on march 8, 1909 aboard the romantic. my great grandfather david buckley arrived in boston from county cork in 1883 aboard the samarria. he petitioned to be a citizen in 18 # 2 in salem, massachusetts. many americans have stories like mine and now you have newly naturalized citizens will have your own journey to share. we have over 10 billion pages of records at the national archives. becoming american citizens makes you part of the national archives too. your naturalization records will be part of our holdings and someday your descendants will
11:23 pm
search your records to discover our history. here at the national archives history comes to life through our records. we house the tangible reminders of where we've been and how far we've coming and how much is possible for every american. the national archives tells everyone's story. now i'd like to introduce francis sizna. he has served in various capacities in the department of homeland security, and most recently as the director of immigration policy within dhs office of policy. before joining dhs he was a private immigration attorney in richmond, virginia. he also worked as a foreign service officer with the u.s. department of state and port-au-prince haiti, and at the u.s. embassy in stockholm, sweden. he received his juris doctor
11:24 pm
from university law center. and a master's degree in international affairs from columbia university, and bachelors in physics and political science from the massachusetts institute of technology when i was a librarian there. [laughter] welcome mr. sizna. [applause] >> thank you it's a pleasure to be here at the national archives museum home to so many priceless and historic documents that serve at the foundation of our nation. i would like to thank the national archives and records administration and the archivists for hosting today's naturalization ceremony, and their partnership with our association over the years. we have justice ginsburg and
11:25 pm
howal to mark this special occasion. we represent 31 citizens representing 26 different countries. on behalf of the men and women of u.s. citizenship and immigration services it is onhonor to address you as my fellow americans, and i would add i, too, have immigrant family. my mother immigrated from peru, i don't think there are any peruviance in the bunches but i know the experience you're having today very well. i understand it very intimately. upon picking the oath of allegiance that you just took you have joined a nation of citizens both naturalized and native born who are united by a belief in the rights that are described and guaranteed by the declaration of independence, the constitution, and the bill of rights collectively known as the charters of freedom, all around us. today, we commemorate the 227th anniversary of the first ten amendments of the constitution known as the bill
11:26 pm
of rights. the bill of rights on display here triumph many of our values nation's freedom said. the m archives provide the documents so the visitors can look at the freedoms and rights guaranteed as americans. through the detection we are reminded of the pattern of our government by fully exercising our rights. you have a vested interest in the united states of america. as you build your lives, i ask that you use your talents to give back to your community, and your new country through civic participation, service, and active citizenship. you can make positive contributions by searching in our armed forces, owning a
11:27 pm
business, running for public office, casting your vote on election day and doing your part to keep our country secure. i am confident your spirit and dedication will serve as an example for future generations of immigrants. as the agency responsible for administering the nation's lawful immigration system and the agency responsible for all that you went through to get to this point, and i know what you went through, uscis is honored to have been a part of your journey to u.s. citizenship. you might not have wanted us to be part of your journey but we are. from the day you first arrived in the united states to today when you took the oath of allegiance. before i finish i would point out -- you know in four years you are going to have a very difficult decision to make. one that will be a true test of your citizenship, and that is who are you going to root for in
11:28 pm
the world cpu in 2022. i'll leave that for you to decide individually. but i think you'd root for america first, and then see what happens. thank you. [applause] >> and now it's my pleasure to introduce justice ruth bader ginsburg, justice ginsburg was born in brooklyn, new york, received her ba from cornell university, attended harvard law school and received her law degree from columbia law school. she became a professor at rutgers in 1963 where she taught some of the first women in law classes. in 1973 she became the aclu's general counsel where she argued
11:29 pm
gender discrimination cases, six of which brought her before the u.s. supreme court. in 1980, president jimmy carter nominated her to the united states court of appeals for the district of columbia. and the 1993 president bill clinton nominated her as associate justice of the supreme court. the notorious rvg. [laughter] is now a pop culture icon with lieges of fans and we are thrilled to have her with us today. as exciting as it is to have rbg is us, equally exciting is to i welcome back brian johnson from the u.s. district court. from the district of columbia who happens to be the person who called our ceremony to order, which he has done for many years. he also happens to be the justice's personal trainer. [laughter] and as written a terrific book, the lbg workout, how she stays
11:30 pm
strong, and you can too. please welcome justice ginsburg. [applause] >> thank you. thank you my fellow americans. it is my great privilege to welcome you to citizenship in the democracy that is the usa. you number 31 and came from 26 countries alphabetically from china to venezuela. today you join more than 20 million current citizens born in other lands who chose as you have to make the united united s
11:31 pm
of america their home. we are a nation made strong by people like you. people who traveled long distances overcame great obstacles, and made tremendous sacrifices all to provide a better life for themselves and their families. my own father arrived in this land at age 13 with no fortune and speaking no english. my mother was born four months after her parents with several children in tow. came by ship to else island. my father, and my grandparents reached as you do for the
11:32 pm
american dream. as testament to our nation's promise the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants, sits on the highest court of the land. in america, land of opportunity, that prospect is within the realm of the achievable. what is the difference between a bookkeeper and new york city's garment district, and a supreme court justice? one generation. my own life bears witness. the difference between the opportunities available to my mother, and those afforded me. you have studied our system of government and know of its twin pillars. first our government has limited power. it can exercise only the authority given to it by the
11:33 pm
constitution. and second, citizens of this country enjoy certain fundamental rights so those rights are our nation's haulmark they are set forth in the bill of rights and other provisions of the amendments to the constitution. they are inalienable, yielding to no government depree. our constitution opens as you have just heard with the words, "we the people of the united states --" by limiting government specifying rights and empowering the people. the founders of the united states proclaimed that the heart of america would be its citizens, not its rulers. after the words "we the people of the united states --" the
11:34 pm
constitution sets out the aspirations to form a more perfect union. at the start, it is true, the union very much needed perfection. the original constitution permitted slavery, and severely limited who counted among "we the people" when the nation was new only white property owning men had the right to vote the most basic right of citizenship. but over the course of our history, people left out at the beginning. people held in human bondage, native americans, and half the population women. came to be embraced as full citizens. a french observer of early america elected -- wrote that
11:35 pm
the greatness of america lies not in being more enlightened than other nations. but rather in her ability to repair her faults. to amendments to our constitution and court decisions applying those amendments we abolish slavery, prohibited racial discrimination, and made men and women people of equal citizenship stature. in the vanguard of those perfections were people just like you. new americans of every race, and creed, making evermore vibrant our national -- out of many one. though we have made huge progress, the work of perfection
11:36 pm
is scarcely done. many stains remain in this rich land nearly a quarter of our children live in poverty. nearly half of our citizens do not vote. and we still struggle to achieve greater understanding and appreciation of each other across racial religious, and socioeconomic lines. yet we strive to realize the ideal to become a more perfect union. as well informed new citizens you will play your part. the vital part in that endeavor. by first and foremost voting in elections. also serving on juries. and engaging in civil discourse
11:37 pm
and all the other things the director just mentioned. we think of america, sweet land of liberty. newcomers to our shores, people like you, came here from the earliest days of our nation to today seeking liberty, freedom from oppression, freedom from want, and freedom to be you and me. i would like to convey to you finally, how agreat american jurist, judge -- understood liberty. he explained in 1944, what liberty meant to him when he greeted a large assemblage of new americans gathered in new
11:38 pm
york city central park to swear allegiance as you just did to the united states. these are judge hand's words. justice what is this sacred liberty that must lie in the hearts of men and women? it is not the rootless unbridled will, it is not freedom to do as one likes, i cannot define the spirit of liberty, i can only tell you my own faith. the spirit of liberty is a spirit which is not too sure that it is right. the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the mind mind's of other men and women. the spirit of liberty is a spirit which weighs in their
11:39 pm
interests alongside its own without bias. may the spirit of liberty as judge hand explained it be your beacon. may you have the conscious and the courage to act in accord with that high ideal. as you play your part in helping to achieve a more perfect union. every best wish. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you so much justice ginsburg. i'm going to make some closing
11:40 pm
remarks before we have brian johnson close the ceremony. our declaration of independence, our constitution and our bill of rights, as the archivist pointed out on all sides of us is glass. the bill of rights the collective name of the first ten amendments to our constitution give us clear guidance about the inalienable rights each person holds. and these listed rights including freem of speech, equal projection, free religion, rules about the mutual respect we owe each other and our shared responsibility to adhere to, and uphold these rights which are so critical to our civic order and to ensure we have the more perfect union that the constitution set out as its goal. we have almost 328 million americans living together. many with radically different views about the problems and the
11:41 pm
solutions confronting this nation some of which justice ginsburg pointed out. this can sound messy, downright divisive, but no matter their differences or where they come from as americans they each share the rights granted under the constitution. most americans are here because their parents, grandparents, or more accident relatives made the courageous choice that each of you new citizens have made to leave the country's where they grew up. where they knew the language, where they had family and friends to follow their friends, to follow their dreams to this new country. this is not easy, and as directors have acknowledged. many of you have waited, and worked hard to arrive at this day. people do come to america for many different reasons. some leave the countries of their birth because of war. or to escape difficult
11:42 pm
situations. but all who come here to aspire to build better lives for themselves and their children. america truly is the great melting pot we're all enriched and better for it. so no matter where you come from, today each of you will be able to say you are an american citizens. so as citizens you have all the rights we've talked about under our constitution, and enforced inenters, in courts across the country presided over by federal judges like me and ultimately by justices of the supreme court like justice ginsburg. you have the right to practice your faith or not follow any religion at all if you don't want to. you have the right to speak freely about matters you care about. the right to privacy in your home. as citizens you each have equal rights before the law with an equal share in the freedom to pursue your own version of happiness. of course our constitution doesn't gant you will find
11:43 pm
happiness but the founders of the nation stated their intention in the declaration of independence to design a form of government where you are certainly free to try. and as citizens we not only have rights but duties and responsibilities, and as new citizens i hope you make three choices about your lives as american citizens. first, i do hope you choose to be involved, we're a self-governing people. self-government works best when citizens are involved and informed. you should seek to inform yourself, read and listen and understand our choices as a nation. your children, your grandchildren, your family will learn the duties of citizenship by watching you so when you go to vote, take your children with you to see how you do it. we have congressional elections every two years presidential elections every four years, pay attention in between.
11:44 pm
to what our elected officials are doing, and talk to your children about what you're hearing and learning. teach them through your action that not only are we free to complain about our political leaders or what we see going on around us, we can vote to change our leaders or vote to keep them. the united states may not be perfect but we have a powerful tool in the voting a booth to make greuments. i hope you all make a second choice. choose to make a positive contribution to your communities, we expect you to be law-abiding. but as citizens expect more from yourselves than that. we may not all be able to perform public service at the level of our speakers, the archivists of the united states or the head of the citizenship and immigration service, our justice ginsburg who serves on the front line of protecting our rights but we can all do our part, whether it's picking up
11:45 pm
litter, helping a neighbor or volunteering at your children's school. finally i hope you all make a third choice to share your stories. many americans take their citizenship for granted by telling youratory about why you chose to come here and what you went through to get here. helps your fellow americans appreciate what we have in our country. plus america is a richer place because of your stories and the cultural experiences you bring here with you. america's strength truly seis the diversity of its people. so choose to be involved, choose to make a positive contribution to your community, and choose to tell your stories. i join our other speakers in congratulating you as america's newest citizens by your conduct and qualifications and actions here this morning, you have each earned your rightful place to be called an american citizen. so congratulations again to all of you.
11:46 pm
[applause] >> this concludes the ceremony, and the honorable court is adjourned. i need everyone to have a seat while we present the certificates of naturalization to our new brothers and centers. everyone please have a seat. >> number one, everyone rise and we're going to come around --
11:47 pm
11:48 pm
[inaudible con >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and
11:49 pm
policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, discuss the latest on and how en enrollment healthcare is playing out since the midterm elections. hen a look at student debt and post-college employment. for public er integrity, a discussion of laws and questions of foreign llegal donations to president trump's inaugural committee. also, news reporter looks at the trump administration's proposal clean water act protections for some wetlands waterways. watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern on saturday morning. join the discussion. >> the next part of a conference of

9 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on