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Oath of Office in the State of Ohio

Compiled by David J. Miller, Jerry Bortner and Angel Shamaya

He who cheats on an oath acknowledges that he is afraid of his enemy, and he thinks little of God. ~~ Plutarch

If you are a public servant in the State of Ohio or any city, town, county or municipality thereof and are not abiding by your oath of office, you are operating outside the law. Below are the Constitutional laws and statutes by which you MUST abide.


The Ohio Constitution's Requirement to take the Oath of Office

Article XV, Section 7

Oath of Officers

Section 7. Every person chosen or appointed to any office under this state, before entering upon the discharge of its duties, shall take an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of the United States, and of this state, and also an oath of office.

Source: Ohio Constitution: Article XV, Section 7: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/constitution.cfm?Part=15&Section=07

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The Statutory Provisions Regarding the Oath of Office Public Servants in Ohio are Required to Take

Ohio Revised Code, General Provisions, Chapter 3

Section 3.20 Oath includes affirmation.

When an oath is required or authorized by law, an affirmation in lieu thereof may be taken by a person having conscientious scruples against taking an oath. An affirmation has the same effect as an oath.

Section 3.21 Form of oath.

A person may be sworn in any form he deems binding on his conscience.

Section 3.22 All officers must take oath of office.

Each person chosen or appointed to an office under the constitution or laws of this state, and each deputy or clerk of such officer, shall take an oath of office before entering upon the discharge of his duties. The failure to take such oath shall not affect his liability or the liability of his sureties.

Section 3.23 Oath of office of judges and other officers.

The oath of office of each judge of a court of record shall be to support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of this state, to administer justice without respect to persons, and faithfully and impartially to discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on him as such judge, according to the best of his ability and understanding. The oath of office of every other officer, deputy, or clerk shall be to support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of this state, and faithfully to discharge the duties of his office.

Source: http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/revisedcode/whole.cfm?GRDescription3=%20&GRStructure1=3

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The Oath of Office for Public Servants in Ohio

Please note that Ohio does not specify a formal oath of office due to ORC, General Provisions, Chapter 3; Section 3.20 and 3.21 listed above. The following is the oath of office for all national public servants and is the one most often used in Ohio.

5 U.S.C. Sec. 3331 Oath of office

An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following 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."

This section does not affect other oaths required by law.

Source: http://crtf.homepage.com/oath.htm

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Forfeiture of office for misconduct in office.

§ 3.07 

Any person holding office in this state, or in any municipal corporation, county, or subdivision thereof, coming within the official classification in Section 38 of Article II, Ohio Constitution, who willfully and flagrantly exercises authority or power not authorized by law, refuses or willfully neglects to enforce the law or to perform any official duty imposed upon him by law, or is guilty of gross neglect of duty, gross immorality, drunkenness, misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance is guilty of misconduct in office. Upon complaint and hearing in the manner provided for in sections 3.07 to 3.10, inclusive, of the Revised Code, such person shall have judgment of forfeiture of said office with all its emoluments entered thereon against him, creating thereby in said office a vacancy to be filled as prescribed by law. The proceedings provided for in such sections are in addition to impeachment and other methods of removal authorized by law, and such sections do not divest the governor or any other authority of the jurisdiction given in removal proceedings. 

Source: http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/revisedcode/

Direct Source: http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/revisedcode/jumptext.cfm?jumppage=3.07 

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The Ohio Constitution on Inalienable Rights

Ohio Constitution: Article 1, Section 1

"All men are, by nature, free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and seeking and obtaining happiness and safety. "

Source: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/constitution.cfm?Part=1&Section=01

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The Ohio Constitution on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Ohio Constitution: Article 1, Section 4

"The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power."

Source: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/constitution.cfm?Part=1&Section=04

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U.S. Constitution on the right to keep and bear arms

"A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Source: Bill of Rights, Second Amendment (ratified 1791, and still the Law of the Land)

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The Constitution Comes Before Statutes, Edicts, Ordinances, Rules or Regulations

Article VI, U.S. Constitution

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

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.

From Law.Cornell.Edu:

"This means that state governments and officials cannot take actions or pass laws that interfere with the Constitution, laws passed by Congress, or treaties. The Constitution was interpreted, in 1819, as giving the Supreme Court the power to invalidate any state actions that interfere with the Constitution and the laws and treaties passed pursuant to it. That power is not itself explicitly set out in the Constitution but was declared to exist by the Supreme Court in the decision of McCulloch v. Maryland."

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CIVIL RIGHTS ACT

42 U.S.C. Chapter 21

SUBCHAPTER I--GENERALLY

Sec. 1983 Civil action for deprivation of rights

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.

(R.S. Sec. 1979; Pub. L. 96-170, Sec. 1, Dec. 29, 1979, 93 Stat. 1284.)

Source: For date law was enacted, history of law, amendments (slight, and very much intact in spirit), go here: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+42USC1983

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PUBLIC LAW 96-303

CODE OF ETHICS FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICE (Passed July 3, 1980)

ANY PERSON IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE SHOULD:

I. Put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department.

II. Uphold the Constitution, laws, and regulations of the United States and of all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion.

III. Give a full day's labor for a full day's pay; giving earnest effort and best thought to the performance of duties.

IV. Seek to find and employ more efficient and economical ways of getting tasks accomplished.

V. Never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or

VI. Make no private promises of any kind binding upon the duties of office, since a Government employee has no private word which can be binding on public duty.

VII. Engage in no business with the Government, either directly or indirectly, which is inconsistent with the conscientious performance of governmental duties.

VIII. Never use any information gained confidentially in the performance of government duties as a means for making private profit.

IX. Expose corruption wherever discovered.

X. Uphold these principles, ever conscious that public office is a public trust.

DECA Poster 80-3, Feb 94

When this law was passed, it included a requirement for posting the above in government facilities. That requirement was later repealed. (Source 1, Source 2) But the law itself is still very much a LAW.

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U.S. State Constitutions

State Constitutions on the Right to Keep And Bear Arms

Ohio Constitution
http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/constitution.cfm

 

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