Get Involved, Vote is Challenge

Newly naturalized U.S. citizens were challenged to get involved in issues and vote, especially during the current election year.
That was the message the 63 citizens heard repeatedly as they were recognized for the completion of their studies in their quest to become part of their new country.
U.S. District Chief Judge Claire V. Eagan reminded everyone, including a group of Hamilton Middle School ‘‘superstar students,’’ that naturalization in the U.S. by birth is good fortune. Those choosing citizenship show good judgment.
District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell added to Eagan’s comments noting that each day judges have the opportunity to interpret those laws derived from the U.S. Constitution.
Among the privileges of citizenship is realizing the government is limited by the power given to them by consent and that power is held by its citizens.
This country is governed by the rule of law and it is a privilege to be an American.
U.S. Magistrate Paul J. Cleary noted that America was built on an improbable view and a ‘‘crazy notion’’ that a country could be built with immigrants who often were fierce opponents in their native land. It is important to realize that all are created equal and all are equal before the law.
The most important responsibility is the right to vote, he said and each of you is encouraged to get involved in the issues and made decisions, even if it is in the privacy of the voting booth.
Martha Rupp Carter, Tulsa County Bar Association president, noted that it a great honor to witness the powerful and moving naturalization ceremony.
‘‘Many of you have arrived at the culmination of a very difficult journey,’’ she said. ‘‘It has taken a dedicated effort and the support of families to achieve the goal.
‘‘The Tulsa County Bar is grateful to have the opportunity to share in the ceremony,’’ she said. It is in the celebration of the upcoming Law Day — Law Week for Tulsa — and this is an opportunity to observe the rule of law in this country.
‘‘That means we live in a country ruled by law that have been established by elected representatives. These laws are enforced by local state and national government officials. These laws are interpreted by the courts. These courts are not ruled by the whims of men, but the courts are bound to make decisions based on the rule of law.
The 2008 Law Day Theme is ‘‘Elections, Democracy in Action,’’ Carter said. This is an election year and an opportunity to choose those who make laws to serve in the legislature. That election extends to the leaders of the executive branch, the President of the U.S.
Participating in the election is the responsibility of all citizens, she said. ‘‘Now, you have that right and responsibility, and to this end, you are a very important person.’’

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