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Oath of Office in the State of Vermont

Compiled by Jeff Rau, Anna Pendland and Angel Shamaya


Chapter I - Article 1 - All persons born free; their natural rights; slavery prohibited

That all persons are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety; therefore no person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice, after arriving to the age of twenty-one years, unless bound by the person's own consent, after arriving to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.

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Chapter I - Article 9 - Citizens' rights and duties in the state; bearing arms; taxation

That every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and therefore is bound to contribute the member's proportion towards the expence of that protection, and yield personal service, when necessary, or an equivalent thereto, but no part of any person's property can be justly taken, or applied to public uses, without the person's own consent, or that of the Representative Body, nor can any person who is conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms, be justly compelled thereto, if such person will pay such equivalent; nor are the people bound by any law but such as they have in like manner assented to, for their common good: and previous to any law being made to raise a tax, the purpose for which it is to be raised ought to appear evident to the Legislature to be of more service to community than the money would be if not collected.

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Chapter I - Article 16 - Right to bear arms; standing armies; military power subordinate to civil

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State--and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

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Chapter II - Section 16 - Representatives' oaths

The Representatives having met, and chosen their Speaker and Clerk, shall each of them, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe, as well the oath or affirmation of allegiance hereinafter directed (except where they shall produce certificates of their having theretofore taken and subscribed the same) as the following oath or affirmation:

You _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as a member of this Assembly, you will not propose, or assent to, any bill, vote or resolution, which shall appear to you injurious to the people, nor do nor consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State; but will, in all things, conduct yourself as a faithful, honest Representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of your judgment and ability.

Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

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Chapter II - Section 17 - Oath of senators and representatives

The Representatives having met on the day appointed by law for the commencement of a biennial session of the General Assembly, and chosen their Speaker, and the Senators having met, shall, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe the following oath, in addition to the oath prescribed in the foregoing section:

You _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you did not at the time of your election to this body, and that you do not now, hold any office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress. So help you God. (Or in the case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury. The words "office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress" shall be construed to mean any office created directly or indirectly by Congress, and for which emolument is provided from the Treasury of the United States, other than that of a member of the commissioned or enlisted personnel in the reserve components of the armed forces of the United States while not on extended active duty.

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Chapter II - Section 56 - Oaths of allegiance and office

Every officer, whether judicial, executive, or military, in authority under this State, before entering upon the execution of office, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation of allegiance to this State, (unless the officer shall produce evidence that the officer has before taken the same) and also the following oath or affirmation of office, except military officers, and such as shall be exempted by the Legislature.

The Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will be true and faithful to the State of Vermont, and that you will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution or Government thereof. (If an oath) So help you God. (If an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

The Oath or Affirmation of Office

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will faithfully execute the office of _____ for the _____ of _____ and will therein do equal right and justice to all persons, to the best of your judgment and ability, according to law. (If an oath) So help you God. (If an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.

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United States Right to Keep and Bear Arms

UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
BILL OF RIGHTS

AMENDMENT II.

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)
http://www.nara.gov/exhall/charters/billrights/billrights.html

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U.S. Constitution Comes Before Statutes, Edicts, Ordinances, Rules or Regulations

UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

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, any Thing 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.

Source: Constitution of the United States of America
http://www.nara.gov/exhall/charters/constitution/constitution.html

EXPLANATION 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

UNITED STATES CODE
TITLE 42. THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CHAPTER 21. CIVIL RIGHTS
SUBCHAPTER I. GENERALLY
Section 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, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. 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; Pub. L. 104-317, title III, Sec. 309(c), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3853.)

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

TITLE 5. GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES
PART III. EMPLOYEES
Subpart F. Labor-Management and Employee Relations
CHAPTER 73. SUITABILITY, SECURITY, AND CONDUCT
SUBCHAPTER I. REGULATION OF CONDUCT
Section 7301. Presidential regulations

CODE OF ETHICS FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICE (signed into law on 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

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 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
"Let us contemplate our forefathers, and posterity, and resolve to maintain the rights bequeathed to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that `if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.' It is a very serious consideration...that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event." --Samuel Adams, speech in Boston, 1771

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