Monthly Archives: February 2020

Does an Oath of Office Mean Anything?

Merriam-Webster defines it as thus:

1a

(1)
: a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says
(2)
: a solemn attestation of the truth or inviolability of one’s words
The witness took an oath to tell the truth in court.
b
: something (such as a promise) corroborated by an oath
They were required to swear an oath of loyalty.
took the oath of office
2
: an irreverent or careless use of a sacred name
broadly : swear word
He uttered an oath and stormed away.

From Wikipedia:

In the United States, the oath of office for the President is specified in the Constitution (Article II, Section 1):
“I, (name), 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 oath may be sworn or affirmed (in which case it is called an affirmation instead of oath). Although not present in the text of the Constitution, it is customary for modern presidents to say “So help me God” after the end of the oath. For officers other than the President, the expression “So help me God” is explicitly prescribed, but the Judiciary Act of 1789 also explains when it can be omitted (specifically for oaths taken by court clerks): “Which words, so help me God, shall be omitted in all cases where an affirmation is admitted instead of an oath.”
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, (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.]

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.

Blog post by Phoenix:

It is apparent that the section of the oath that seems almost daily violated by politicians is “I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without reservation or purpose of evasion;”

The congress as a whole along with the executive branch has been knowingly presenting legislation contrary to the constitution and then relying on legal challenges to make it to supreme court for final disposition, that folks is still a violation of the oath taken no matter the lawyeristic maneuver of passing legislation as constitutional and waiting for a challenge. If these were your children you would immediately scold for exceeding limits by their hope of getting away with trouble but suffering consequences for only the most egregious just by sheer quantity, its evasive both by congress and by children, both should be accountable.

Below is the most detailed listing of codes covering the subject of congressional oath and penalties for violation,

It is apparent that the section of the oath that seems almost daily violated by politicians is “I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without reservation or purpose of evasion;”

Federal law regulating oath of office by government officials is divided into four parts along with an executive order which further defines the law for purposes of enforcement. 5 U.S.C. 3331, provides the text of the actual oath of office members of Congress are required to take before assuming office. 5 U.S.C. 3333 requires members of Congress sign an affidavit that they have taken the oath of office required by 5 U.S.C. 3331 and have not or will not violate that oath of office during their tenure of office as defined by the third part of the law, 5 U.S.C. 7311 which explicitly makes it a federal criminal offense (and a violation of oath of office) for anyone employed in the United States Government (including members of Congress) to “advocate the overthrow of our constitutional form of government”. The fourth federal law, 18 U.S.C. 1918 provides penalties for violation of oath office described in 5 U.S.C. 7311 which include: (1) removal from office and; (2) confinement or a fine.

The definition of “advocate” is further specified in Executive Order 10450 which for the purposes of enforcement supplements 5 U.S.C. 7311. One provision of Executive Order 10450 specifies it is a violation of 5 U.S.C. 7311 for any person taking the oath of office to advocate “the alteration … of the form of the government of the United States by unconstitutional means.” Our form of government is defined by the Constitution of the United States. It can only be “altered” by constitutional amendment. Thus, according to Executive Order 10450 (and therefore 5 U.S. 7311) any act taken by government officials who have taken the oath of office prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 3331which alters the form of government other by amendment, is a criminal violation of the 5 U.S.C. 7311.

Violating Oath

The subject I am bringing to the table is “why do the American people allow their representatives to break oath of office (a federal crime) and not hold them accountable?

This should be a non-partisan subject simply due to the fact this has been going on for long decades and both parties are guilty according to the law.

The scales could be tipped back somewhat if the public had awareness that the oath has teeth and voiced expectation that it be taken seriously.

I grew up on a rural farm and had an older neighbor and I had just got out of high school in the spring and turned eighteen in the late summer and come the next January, I enlisted in the military service.  The morning I was getting ready to report to boot camp Raymond came over.  I was getting ready to leave for the airport, he came up to me and stuck out his hand.  He said, “You are about to say some pretty big words soon and it will define you as a man.  Good Luck.”

At the time I was stunned, in all the years that I had known Raymond, he had patted me on the back after school football games, other sports, 4H, and at other events but he had never shook my hand till that day.  I had read the oath of service but until you are saying it and what Raymond said actually hit me like a rock.  In his eyes, I had just grown up.

Those words are what you are to live by every day during your service to your country and afterwards.  Why is it that our elected representatives fail to follow their oath of office when they require those in military and civic service to follow theirs.  We have been complacent in letting them tear us down.  We need to stand up and make them follow the same laws and Oaths we do.

High Tech Does Not Always Mean Faster and More Accurate

We all know that with new and improved stuff there are always problems even after running it through all the test you can think of, but in the Iowa Caucus just proved that the old fashion way would have been better to stay with in the end.

USA Today

“We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed,” he said in the statement. “The application’s reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately.”

“Because of the required paper documentation, we have been able to verify that the data recorded in the app and used to calculate State Delegate Equivalents is valid and accurate,” he said in the statement. “Precinct level results are still being reported to the IDP. While our plan is to release results as soon as possible today, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the integrity and accuracy of the process continues to be upheld.”

At about 10:30 p.m. CT, when no results had rolled in, the party issued a statement saying the party found inconsistencies in the three data sets — the first alignment, the second alignment and the overall delegate numbers — and that it would take longer than expected to report results.
– Kim Norvell, Des Moines Register

The head of the Iowa Democratic Party said the organization is manually recounting the results of the Iowa Caucuses and he expects the numbers to be released sometime Tuesday.

It’s unclear how quickly the state that kicks off the presidential nominating process will be able to reveal who won the contest.

But “the integrity of our process with the results have and always will be our top priority,” Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) Chair Troy Price told reporters at a conference call at 1 a.m. CST. “At this point, the IDP is manually verifying all precinct results. We expect to have numbers to report later today. “

Price repeated the party’s early assertion that the technical glitch with the system “is a reporting issue not a hack or an intrusion. And it’s exactly why we have a paper trail and systems in place to uphold the integrity of our process.”

“They’re validating every piece of data we have against our paper trail,” he said. “The system is taking longer than expected but it’s in place to ensure we are eventually able to report results with full confidence.”

Price said the IDP has reached out to the various campaigns and is keeping them updated.

Piyce comments followed criticism from some campaigns, notably former Vice President Joe Biden’s who called the reporting problems “acute failures.”
– Ledyard King

First, they said that there was coding errors in the new system and it was a simple fix but then they started to say that the people putting in the numbers were at fault.  Now after all that mess, to get it right and transparent they will be back to a large chalkboard with one one person reading the numbers, while one person marks the board, and ten people observing the routine.  Kind of reminds you of the “Hanging Chad” debacle.

While the Democratic candidates fumed about the delay and questionability that this new process has caused, they were each quick to proclaim themselves as “Winners” and said they were moving on to New Hampshire.  On the flip side of this, President Trump’s campaign was quick to provide the following.

The Trump campaign was quick to seize on Monday night’s delays in caucus results, calling it the “sloppiest train wreck in history.”

“Democrats are stewing in a caucus mess of their own creation with the sloppiest train wreck in history,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in an emailed statement.

He also raised concerns about “the fairness of the process” after suggesting in a tweet that the “quality control” issues Democrats cited in the delay were part of a scheme to rig the results.

– Courtney Subramaniam

So, with the official start of election season, is this what we have to look forward to the rest of the year.  No matter who wins or loses, someone will be crying in their beer.