Leo oath at time of appointment

Leo oath at time of appointment

This is a discussion on Leo oath at time of appointment within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; https://malegislature.gov/laws/gener...r125/section10 Section 10. All officers of such institutions, before entering upon the performance of their official duties, shall take and subscribe the following oaths : ...

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    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Leo oath at time of appointment

    https://malegislature.gov/laws/gener...r125/section10

    Section 10. All officers of such institutions, before entering upon the performance of their official duties, shall take and subscribe the following oaths:–''I, A.B., do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will support the constitution thereof. So help me, God.'' ''I, A.B., do solemnly swear that I will obey the lawful orders of all my superior officers. So help me, God.'' ''I, A.B., do solemnly swear and affirm that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all duties incumbent on me in the office to which I have been appointed according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the requirements of the constitution, the laws of the commonwealth, and the rules provided in accordance with law for the government of the correctional institutions of the commonwealth. So help me, God.'' The oath may be administered by any officer authorized by law to administer oaths, and a record thereof shall be in the possession of the principal officer of the appropriate institution.


    "obey the constitution of the state; laws of the commonwealth; obey the lawful orders of all my superiors; rules governing correctional institutions."

    Not one word in the above mentions an oath to the US Constitution, not one.

    There's been a lot of discussion on this in recent threads, that leo's aren't upholding their oath to uphold the US Constitution. Nowhere in the above oath, is that true.

    Maryland State police oath of office:


    I do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America and to the State of Maryland; ​that I will serve honestly and faithfully to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and to the State of Maryland; that I will enforce the laws of the State of Maryland; and that I will obey the orders of the Governor and the Officers appointed over me according to the rules and regulations of the Maryland State Police.

    We see that one can't possibly swear an oath to both defend the US doc and at the same time uphold the constitution of the state of Maryland. We see that they swear to enforce the laws of the state of Maryland when there's conflict between the two constitutions. One can't possibly swear an oath to uphold both docs when they directly conflict one another.

    We also see that they swear to "enforce the laws of the state of Maryland". So if they are given an order to enforce their states laws, they are obligated to obey that order, whether that order is in direct conflict with the federal Doc. When they are enforcing their states laws, they are NOT violating their oath of office, per se.

    Texas oath of an leo

    IN THE NAME AND BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, I, , do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute the duties of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.

    So when a Texas police officer obeys a lawful order to enforce a state law that conflicts with his oath to defend the federal Doc, he's automatically put into a no win situation as he can't enforce nor defend both at the same time when they conflict. I would suspect, most states have a similar oath of office covering both oaths to defend the Doc and uphold/enforce their states laws.

    It's archaic to have a person swear two oaths to two different documents/rules instantly in conflict with themselves. Now some who have disdain and don't trust leo's in general will badger others they weren't upholding their oath, in some attempt to suggest they should be charged or fired for not doing so. While others plainly see one can't defend/uphold both when they conflict but also understand they are sworn to uphold lawful orders and their states laws.

    If a law is passed that's in direct conflict with the Doc, it's still a state law they have oath'd to uphold. If a superior tells one of them to go serve this red flag warrant, and red flag laws have been passed in that state, the leo is mandated to uphold lawful orders from superiors and the laws of that state. Constitutionality is not for them to decide, they may and likely do have a personal opinion on any one law they enforce but they discharge their duties dispassionately. Until such time as something like these red flag laws are challenged and over turned as unconstitutional, they are the law, the law the leo's oath'd to uphold.

    Leo's don't decide constitutionality of any law nor do they get to choose, based on personal opinion, what laws they will and will not enforce.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    I swore an oath to the Constitution when I was Sixteen. Fifty-one years later, it might as well have been yesterday. No conflict for me.
    MY RIGHTS DON'T END WHERE YOUR FEELINGS BEGIN

    The situation will NEVER BE THE WAY YOU WANT, it WILL BE THE WAY IT IS. You must be FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ADAPT and just "DEAL WITH IT".

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    Member Array simple_man17's Avatar
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    Wrong again. For example, here in WA state, we have red flag laws, and with I-1639 draconian gun restrictions, 50-75% of the county sheriffs have said they will NOT enforce such laws because they are unconstitutional. Not just the US Constitution, but also the WA state constitution.

    Wrong is wrong. But I guess if you believe that the .gov gives you your rights, then I guess you are free to let them take you.... God's natural law never changes.

    Your problem is that you are focused on the LEO. Not on the legislatures and judiciaries, and their mindless supporting voters, that pass such laws that violate the US and their state constitution. But to say an LEO has to enforce and unconstitutional law is insanity.
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    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simple_man17 View Post
    Wrong again. For example, here in WA state, we have red flag laws, and with I-1639 draconian gun restrictions, 50-75% of the county sheriffs have said they will NOT enforce such laws because they are unconstitutional. Not just the US Constitution, but also the WA state constitution.

    Wrong is wrong. But I guess if you believe that the .gov gives you your rights, then I guess you are free to let them take you.... God's natural law never changes.

    Your problem is that you are focused on the LEO. Not on the legislatures and judiciaries, and their mindless supporting voters, that pass such laws that violate the US and their state constitution. But to say an LEO has to enforce and unconstitutional law is insanity.
    The state of Washington restricts your 2A right to carry concealed unless you apply to that GOV and pay the fees. IOW, a GOV is giving you your right to carry concealed. I guess you also believe gov can give you rights if you've exercised the right to carry concealed legally too. And lets not forget, the newly formed GOV [ the US of A, ] gave us the Doc and the BILL OF RIGHTS, so technically, we get our rights enumerated from a DOC created by, you guessed it, a GOV

    You admonish leo's who don't uphold their oath, yet those sheriffs you mentioned, if they do ignore their states red flag laws will also be violating their oath to uphold their states statutes. That's the theme of this thread, how an leo can't abide by both an oath to the Doc and enforcing/upholding their states laws in the same breath without violating one or the other.

    My problem isn't I"m focused on the LEO, my problem is with forcing leo's to swear conflicting oaths. Oh, and those sheriffs you mentioned? If they don't enforce the states laws, they are in violation of part of their oath as well. Leo's are not the arbiters of constitutionality, the courts are.

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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    @AzQkr : 14A states “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This has been held by many SCOTUS cases to apply, and take precedence, for almost all of the BOR to states specifically include all of 1A, 2A and 4A, and almost all of 5A and 6A. So no matter what is in their oath, as agents of a state, all LEOs, are required to enforce those rights and they take precedence over state rights if there is conflict.

    The "I vas only following orders" defense didn't fly at Nuremberg, so it definitely shouldn't fly here.
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    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmf552 View Post
    @AzQkr : 14A states “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This has been held by many SCOTUS cases to apply, and take precedence, for almost all of the BOR to states specifically include all of 1A, 2A and 4A, and almost all of 5A and 6A. So no matter what is in their oath, as agents of a state, all LEOs, are required to enforce those rights and they take precedence over state rights if there is conflict.

    The "I vas only following orders" defense didn't fly at Nuremberg, so it definitely shouldn't fly here.
    In theory perhaps, but that's not the reality practiced by either states or their agents in multitudes of instances. Until such time as a state law is held unconstitutional, it's the law. Who holds the keys to what constitutes constitutionality? The courts, not you nor I nor any other citizen, and certainly not the leo..

    SCOTUS' decision in the DC case is a prime example. The DC restrictive 2a laws were lawful and enforced by state agents until the US Supreme court stated otherwise. So until red flag laws are determined to be unconstitutional, they are the law, and law enforcement will enforce said laws as they swore to do in their oath.

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    Senior Member Array DaGunny's Avatar
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    Sadly, when an officer is put in a position where there is a conflict between the Doc and State law their decision is whether to stand on principle or stay employed.
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    @AzQkr , your post was very informative, and it really shed some light on the effect of federalism. As for me I only took one oath in my life, and I will take no other ever.

    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; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    A couple decades ago a person asked me why I was so gung-ho about the Constitution. I told him I had read it, believed in it, and had taken an oath to protect it upon my enlistment. He reminded me that I was discharged many years before. My reply was "the Oath did not have an expiration date."
    Last edited by 1942bull; August 20th, 2019 at 06:32 PM.

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    VIP Member Array Havok's Avatar
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    Even if the oath doesn’t say they are defending the constitution, they still have a responsibility to not violate someone’s rights.
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    We get the government we deserve.

  11. #10
    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havok View Post
    Even if the oath doesn’t say they are defending the constitution, they still have a responsibility to not violate someone’s rights.
    Where would that responsibility be enumerated, IYO?

    thanks

    ETA, I know where mine was enumerated, at the Commonwealths police academy. 3 weeks of constitutional law we had to know to avoid violating someone's rights. Problem with that is, as this thread's subject is about, when enforcing certain Commonwealths laws like gun laws, technically one would be violating that persons 2a rights at the same time.

    Here, learn this to avoid violating someone's rights/
    Here, learn this to be able to enforce the states gun laws

    That's how most leo's start their careers, with conflicting states laws and rights.
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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    @AzQkr : I don't accept that the fact that states, and their agents, violate the BOR and 14A with regularity to be an excuse for anyone involved. BTW, the Heller decision (as in most SCOTUS decisions) did not state the DC laws were ever lawful and that Heller changed that. It stated that they were a violation of 2A, so they had always always been unconstitutional. If a cop cannot understand the simple phrase "shall not be infringed," we have an LE literacy problem.

    That was the problem in Nazi Germany. The Nazis' actions were all lawful under German law and what little international law there was at the time. They were careful to legally cover their backsides. But their actions were WRONG and any human with a shred of decency would have known they were wrong.
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    Senior Member Array KILTED COWBOY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1942bull View Post
    @AzQkr , your post was very informative, and it really shed some light on the effect of federalism. As for me I only took one oath in my life, and I will take no other ever.

    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; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    A couple decades ago a person asked me why I was so gung-ho about the Constution. I told him I had read it, believed in it, and had taken an oath to protect it upon my enlistment. He reminded me that I was discharged many years before. My reply was "the Oath did not have an expiration date."
    I do not think it could be said any better than you just did.
    Wish everyone felt the same

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    Member Array simple_man17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    The state of Washington restricts your 2A right to carry concealed unless you apply to that GOV and pay the fees. IOW, a GOV is giving you your right to carry concealed. I guess you also believe gov can give you rights if you've exercised the right to carry concealed legally too. And lets not forget, the newly formed GOV [ the US of A, ] gave us the Doc and the BILL OF RIGHTS, so technically, we get our rights enumerated from a DOC created by, you guessed it, a GOV

    You admonish leo's who don't uphold their oath, yet those sheriffs you mentioned, if they do ignore their states red flag laws will also be violating their oath to uphold their states statutes. That's the theme of this thread, how an leo can't abide by both an oath to the Doc and enforcing/upholding their states laws in the same breath without violating one or the other.

    My problem isn't I"m focused on the LEO, my problem is with forcing leo's to swear conflicting oaths. Oh, and those sheriffs you mentioned? If they don't enforce the states laws, they are in violation of part of their oath as well. Leo's are not the arbiters of constitutionality, the courts are.
    OMG. The BOR gives us our rights? LOL. OMG. How ignorant can you be?

    And no, they swore to uphold the state's constitution, and the constitution of the USA. The fact that those laws violate those, is the problem. The fact that you uphold and defend those unconstitutional laws says a lot about you.
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    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmf552 View Post
    @AzQkr : I don't accept that the fact that states, and their agents, violate the BOR and 14A with regularity to be an excuse for anyone involved.

    That's the system in play, people play by the present rules.

    BTW, the Heller decision (as in most SCOTUS decisions) did not state the DC laws were ever lawful and that Heller changed that. It stated that they were a violation of 2A, so they had always always been unconstitutional.

    Correct, BUT until SCOTUS ruled in that case, there was no definitive answer, only personal opinions

    If a cop cannot understand the simple phrase "shall not be infringed," we have an LE literacy problem.

    It's not an leo's responsibility to determine constitutionality. That's left to the courts, their decisions become law and the leo's enforce whatever law is present at the time.

    That was the problem in Nazi Germany. The Nazis' actions were all lawful under German law and what little international law there was at the time. They were careful to legally cover their backsides. But their actions were WRONG.
    And in the matter of red flag laws, they are also wrong/violating citizens rights, no one is arguing that. But like Heller, until a higher court rules on constitutionality, it's the law, right or wrong. Law enforcement doesn't get to decide constitutionality, that's why the academies spent 3 weeks on that subject alone, so the leo's are given guidance and rules to follow, not left to decide on their own.
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    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simple_man17 View Post
    OMG. The BOR gives us our rights? LOL. OMG. How ignorant can you be?

    And no, they swore to uphold the state's constitution, and the constitution of the USA. The fact that those laws violate those, is the problem. The fact that you uphold and defend those unconstitutional laws says a lot about you.
    So look, you'll have to quote me somewhere to demonstrate I've stated or even alluded to upholding or defending an unconstitutional law. Otherwise, I'm going to suggest you keep your emotions in check and stop making errant statements about me or my position here.
    5lima30ret and 1942bull like this.

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