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EDNY celebrates Constitution and Citizenship Day with special ceremony

September 21, 2022 Rob Abruzzese
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The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York held a special naturalization ceremony in celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on Friday in Downtown Brooklyn.

It was part of a celebration throughout the federal court system and a recognition of new U.S. citizens. Seventy-five candidates for citizenship attended the special ceremony on Friday.

Senior District Judge Raymond J. Dearie, who was recently appointed Special Master in the Southern District of Florida case, Trump v. The United States of America, performed the oath for the new citizens.

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The Eastern District courthouse is practically close enough to see Ellis Island, which is appropriate as it hosted more than 300 naturalization ceremonies per year prior to the pandemic. That means more than 50,000 new citizens a year were passing through its doors to officially become U.S. citizens.

Several times per week, in the Jack B. Weinstein ceremonial courtroom, each person who passes through for the ceremony swears an oath of allegiance in a formal court proceeding.

The judges who preside over the ceremony do so with great pride and distinction, especially Chief Judge Margo Brodie who was naturalized during a ceremony in the same courtroom after she came to the United States from Antigua.

The keynote speaker for Friday’s event was Charles E. Berger, the grandson of German immigrants. Berger graduated from high school in Manhattan before joining the U.S. Navy, where he flew F-14 Tomcats during combat operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1994.

Berger has spent most of his last 22 years working for the FBI on domestic and international terrorism cases, for which he received the Attorney General’s Award and the Director’s Award from the Department of Justice and FBI, respectively. He is the co-author of “Guaranteeing America’s Security in the 21st Century.”

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