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Monday, January 2, 2012

'Oath of Office'

Is the 'Oath of Office' still important to our Government elected officials and our Military service personnel?
Here are some facts about the various 'Oaths of Office'...

In 1789, the 1st United States Congress created a fourteen-word oath to fulfill the constitutional requirement: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States." 

 Judiciary Act of 1789, which established an additional oath taken by federal judges:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution, and laws of the United States. So help me God.
 December 1861, members who believed that the Union had as much to fear from northern traitors as southern soldiers again revised the oath, adding a new first section known as the "Ironclad Test Oath." The war-inspired Test Oath, signed into law on July 2, 1862, required "every person elected or appointed to any office ... under the Government of the United States ... excepting the President of the United States" to swear or affirm that they had never previously engaged in criminal or disloyal conduct. Those government employees who failed to take the 1862 Test Oath would not receive a salary; those who swore falsely would be prosecuted for perjury and forever denied federal employment
 In 1884, a new generation of lawmakers quietly repealed the first section of the Test Oath, leaving intact the current affirmation of constitutional allegiance.

Federal Executive and Legislative Branch Oaths

In the United States, the oath of office for the President is specified in the Constitution (Article II, Section 1):
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The Constitution (Article VI, clause 3) also specifies:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
At the start of each new U.S. Congress, in January of every odd-numbered year, newly elected or re-elected Members of Congress – the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate – must recite an oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.[55]
This oath is also taken by the Vice President, members of the Cabinet, federal judges and all other civil and military officers and federal employees other than the President.

Federal Judiciary Oaths

In the United States, federal judges are required to take two oaths. The first oath is this:
I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (office) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.[56]
The second is the same oath that members of Congress take:
I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

United States Uniformed Services Oath of Office

All officers of the seven Uniformed services of the United States take swear or affirm an oath of office upon commissioning. It differs slightly from that of the oath of enlistment that enlisted members recite when they enter the service. It is required by statute, the oath being prescribed by Section 3331, Title 5, United States Code.[1] It is traditional for officers to recite the oath upon promotion but as long as the officer's service is continuous this is not actually required.[2] One notable difference between the officer and enlisted oaths is that the oath taken by officers does not include any provision to obey orders; while enlisted personnel are bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice to obey lawful orders, officers in the service of the United States are bound by this oath to disobey any order that violates the Constitution of the United States.[3]

Text of the Oath

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.[1]
Note that the last sentence is not required to be said if the speaker has a personal or moral objection, as is true of all oaths administered by the United States government; Article Six of the United States Constitution requires that there be no religious test for public office.
The oath is for an indeterminate period; no duration is specifically defined.
Officers of the National Guard of the various States, however, take an additional oath:
I, [name], do solemly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State (Commonwealth, District, Territory) of ___ against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of the State (Commonwealth, District, Territory) of ___, that I make this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the Office of [grade] in the Army/Air National Guard of the State (Commonwealth, District, Territory) of ___ upon which I am about to enter, so help me God.[4]
While all Commissioned Officers are commissioned under the authority of the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the United States SenateWarrant Officers (WO-1) are given a warrant under the authority of their respective Service Secretary (e.g. Secretary of the Army), National Guard officers are additionally committed to the authority of the governor of their state. They may be activated in the service of their state in time of local or state emergency in addition to Federal activation. Reserve officers may only be activated by the President of the United States.

With this information, my question is; Why are we subject to Congressional and Presidential Acts that directly oppose the Constitutional Rights and Liberties of the U S Citizen? Why are these Acts allowed to be passed through Congress much less even suggested into Bills to be considered?

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