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Oath of Office in the State of Virginia

Compiled by Karen Meehan, Dave Bockman, Jeff Rau, Anna Pendland and Angel Shamaya


Article I - Section 1 - Equality and rights of men

That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

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Article I - Section 13 - Militia; standing armies; military subordinate to civil power

That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

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Article II - Section 7 - Oath or affirmation

All officers elected or appointed under or pursuant to this Constitution shall, before they enter on the performance of their public duties, severally take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon me as ________________, according to the best of my ability (so help me God)."

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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
The said Constitution be never construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms. Samuel Adams, during Massachusetts's Convention to Ratify the Constitution (1788).

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