Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Binsburg spoke Friday at a welcoming ceremony for nearly three dozen new U.S. citizens at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Ginsburg spoke in the room that holds the U.S. Constitution, and talked about the promise of the American dream for immigrants, which include her own family.
The 31 new citizens welcomed Friday come from 26 different countries, including China and Venezuela.
"Today, you join more than 20 million current citizens born in other lands who chose, as you have, to make the United States of America their home," Ginsburg said. "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."
The 85-year-old associate justice recalled how her father moved to the United States at age 13 from Russia, and that her mother was born just four months after her grandparents arrived on Ellis Island in New York.
"As testament to our nation's promise, the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants sits on the highest court in the land," she said.
"Through amendments to the constitution and court decisions applying those amendments, we abolished slavery, prohibited racial discrimination and made men and women people of equal citizenship stature."
Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She became only the second female justice to serve on the bench, 12 years after Sandra Day O'Connor.
"We strive to realize the ideal to become a more perfect union," Ginsburg said. "As well informed new citizens, you will play your part -- a vital part in that endeavor -- by first and foremost voting in elections."