Thursday, December 20, 2018
To a friend's citizenship induction today, presided over with his usual joie de vivre by another friend, the Honorable Leslie Foschio. As I often do when in court I found myself considering what is good and important about the United States, a useful exercise in these sometimes dark times. I think, for example, that it is good and appropriate that this ceremony is conducted in open court, by the judiciary, instead of in some office somewhere by an officer of the Executive Branch. For me, as someone whose job it is to interact with the government for others, I was struck by how this amounts to a demonstration of the way the law operates- not merely as a system for adversarial dispute resolution, but also as what is perhaps the most important thing that unites us all. Notably, photographs were permitted, a rarity in federal court, but a fine gesture, symbolic of the transparency that is fundamental to democracy. Each person's name was called individually, with the addendum, "formerly of_______", an acknowledgment of what these people came through to become Americans. Knowing what my friend had been through, and hearing the names of the places the others had come from filled me with pride for being a part of a country that they are all now a part of as well.