Blog

Obama & Change - Shaky Oath, but Actions Speak Louder than Words

President Obama took the oath of office on Tuesday, January 20th becoming the 44th President of the United States. The oath, however, is regarded as the "flub heard round the world." Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts, got the words of the oath a little off, which prompted Obama to do so, too. This mistake was widely noticed and even prompted a "do-over." In fact, for the second time, and with the constitutionally correct wording, President Obama was sworn in by Roberts on the following Wednesday night. So his first official act, being sworn in, was a stumble. However, the actions that President Obama took on the following Thursday speak volumes about the change that he promised and the change that he is now going to deliver.

Thursday, President Obama signed executive orders ending the Central Intelligence Agency's secret overseas prisons, banning coercive interrogation methods and closing the Guantánamo Bay detention camp within a year. These actions signify a change in policy from the prior Bush regime, and these actions certainly speak louder than any words. Surrounded by retired generals and admirals who have continuously fought for a ban on coercive interrogations, President Obama signed the three executive orders. The generals and admirals applauded during the White House ceremony as the orders were executed.

According to President Obama, "We believe we can abide by a rule that says, we don't torture, but we can effectively obtain the intelligence we need." Again, this act is a distinct change from the Bush administration. For many years now, the Bush administration was accused of permitting torture, secret prisons, and damaging the country's moral standing around the globe. These accusations turned out to be right. In further showing his commitment to change, the order signed by President Obama also directs an immediate assessment of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp itself to ensure that the prisoners are held in conditions that meet the humanitarian requirements of the Geneva Convention. That provision appeared to be a pointed embrace of the international treaties that the Bush administration often argued did not apply to detainees captured in the war against terrorism. This is also a significant change.

Indeed, Sen. John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "Today is a great day for the rule of law in the United States of America. America is ready to lead again - not just with our words, but by our example." From my understanding, the rule of law is a foundation for both our liberties and for order. The rule of law respects us as equals; it allows us to organize our lives, plan our futures, and resolve disputes in a rational way. Even though President Obama was tripped up by the oath of office, which was mostly due to Roberts' mistake, he was not discouraged from taking major steps to effectuate change. Hopefully this change will strengthen our country's standing around the world, encourage peace, and put America back on the moral high ground that is has so long occupied.

As a personal injury trial lawyer, I applaud President Obama for following through on what he promised (change) and strengthening the rule of law. While he has a long way to go, this is a great first step. I think we all need a little more compassion, logic, and change in our lives. Let's hope he can keep this up and work on fixing the economy, the financial and banking industry, and getting our troops home safely.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories