Military and Police

Oath to Uphold the U.S. Constitution Means Only as Much as the Integrity of the Person Swearing to Do So

In Chapter 4 of my latest book, “De-Policing America,” I ask the question, “should [police] officers still be required to swear oaths?” I focused on society no longer giving cops the benefit of the doubt an oath should convey. As long as there is no evidence of wrongdoing, an official’s word, backed by his or her oath, should mean something.

But the issue goes well beyond society giving cops the benefit of the doubt. I’m wondering if any official should swear an oath. Especially since some officials don’t take their oaths seriously from the day they’re sworn in, and their words and actions prove it.

For this discussion let’s look at why, specifically, officials swear oaths to uphold and defend the federal and/or state constitutions before assuming federal, state, or local public office. The reason is actually sublime: The U.S. Constitution requires it.

In his new book, “American Cop: Upholding the Constitution and Defending Your Right to Bear Arms,” Republic, Washington Police Chief Loren Culp reminds us of the reason some Americans are required to swear oaths:

First, you must understand the U.S. Constitution: Article 1, SECTION 2, is the ‘SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND.’ That means no other law can supersede it. No state, county, city, or town law may run contrary to the U.S. Constitution.

Second, government officials should have solemn intent when they administer oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution: Article 1, SECTION 6, OATHS – MODES OF ADMINISTERING. Americans who administer an oath must ‘be most consistent with and binding upon the conscience of the person to whom such an oath, or affirmation, shall be administered [emphasis added].’ Meaning, if you don’t believe in it, don’t administer it, and if you don’t believe in it, don’t swear that you do.

Third, Article 1, SECTION 29, states for government officials, following the U.S. Constitution is mandatory. “The provisions of this Constitution are mandatory unless by express words they are declared to be otherwise.”

To sum it up, the U.S. Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, government officials must, in a way that is binding on the conscience, swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, which it is then “mandatory” for him or her to follow. How many government officials do this today?

Can you swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and then attempt to alter or abridge any of it by unconstitutional means? If that’s the case, what does an oath mean? Is it nothing but meaningless ceremony?

Remember, when leftists come after your Second Amendment rights, they’re violating their oath not to do exactly that. They also ignore their oaths when they abridge the First Amendment with “hate-speech” laws and policies, including at state colleges and universities.

Today’s politicians (particularly the neo-leftist Democrat-socialists) conduct themselves as if they had their fingers crossed behind their backs when they swore their oaths. They routinely ignore the supreme law of the land nowadays.

It’s obvious they’ve explicitly targeted the Second Amendment for destruction. They don’t even hide it anymore. The NRA is reporting the state of Hawaii legislature has introduced a resolution seeking to abolish or amend the Second Amendment.

At least Hawaii’s senate majority Democrats (24 D and 1 R) aren’t necessarily violating their oaths—in this specific case. They want Congress to repeal the individual right to keep and bear arms, a right included in the Bill of Rights as important as any of the other nine. Hawaii’s legislators are clinging to the false belief the Second Amendment is a “collective” right, not an individual one. This delusion is pure ignorance. Our founding father’s quotes on the issue alone should cease all debate on whether they meant it to be a collective or individual right.

Here’s just two:

“And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” (George Washington)

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” (Benjamin Franklin)

Leftists do occasionally cite the Constitution but only when it’s convenient as when they’re conflating or projecting against conservatives. Most of the time when leftist officials talks about the Constitution (President Obama’s “charter of negative liberties”), they do it as if they’ve got a mouth full of dog crap. Your oath is your word. If you don’t intend to honor your oath (keep your word), then don’t take it. Oaths are only as meaningful and binding as a person’s integrity to uphold it.

Remember, adherence by government officials at all levels of government, executives (including military and law enforcement), legislators, and judges, to the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, is mandatory. The reason for administering and swearing or affirming a solemn oath is to maintain the integrity of our founding system. There are legitimate methods to amend the Constitution, as has been done 27 times (including the Bill of Rights), and those methods must be followed.

So on the one hand you have people such as Democrat presidential candidate, Washington State governor, and official state doodler-in-chief Jay Inslee who apparently thinks a state law has supremacy over the state and federal constitutions. Governor Inslee believes the state’s law enforcement officers should violate their oaths (as he is doing) and obey a state law (I-1639) that clearly infringes on Americans’ and Washingtonians’ Second Amendment rights.

Fortunately, we have another hand—the right hand. And on that hand, we have people such as Republic Police Chief Loren Culp. He understands, honors his oath, and encourages other law enforcement officials to do the same. He swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution above any other federal, state, or local law that attempts to supersede it and, I swear, that’s exactly what he is doing.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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