Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the Supreme Court, center, was believed to be the first member of the court to preside over a naturalization ceremony in New York in recent years.CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

Bedecked in a multicolored collar that reflected the diversity of the 201 new citizens before her, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presided over a naturalization ceremony on Tuesday at the New-York Historical Society, treating her rapt audience to a history lesson, one crackling with life and liberty.

Justice Ginsburg told them that her own father arrived in this country at 13 with no fortune and no ability to speak English, and yet, she would soon be administering the oath of citizenship to them as a member of the highest court in the land.

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