HOLLYWOOD, FL – An amazingly large number of elected and appointed American officials seem to oppose the Constitution of the United States. Every one of them was required by law to take an oath to support and defend the Constitution as a prerequisite to holding office. Yet they oppose the Constitution on one or several points.
Does this opposition serve as evidence that they committed perjury on taking the oath, merely as an empty formality, in order to take office? That would depend upon whether they had previously displayed opposition to the Constitution in some manner, before taking office, which is commonplace these days.
Whether or not their oath was taken dishonestly, however, their violation of the oath is criminal, particularly so for federal officials, whose violation of the oath of office is classified by federal law as a crime. In the case of officials who are not federal, violation of the oath is accompanied by commission of other acts that are unlawful. It happens quite a lot.
Should Americans be concerned when any official violates the oath of office? What exactly is the oath? There are various versions of the oath. All of them, however, require the candidate or appointee to affirm, honestly and without reservation, that they will support and defend the Constitution.
What precisely is the Constitution of the United States? Article Vl, Clause 2 of the Constitution defines what the Constitution is:
“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 Constitution, and laws in pursuance thereof, constitute the supreme law of the land. They form the basis of rule of law in America (subject to the consent of the governed – a potentially messy situation). So America has a Constitution in order to stipulate the duties of its officials, to set boundaries to their lawful powers, and to acknowledge powers and rights of people that must not be infringed or abridged.
Yet officials at all levels and in all branches of government commit unlawful acts by exceeding the legal limits of their powers, and by infringing or abridging unalienable rights. Other officials witness their unlawful acts, who should take action against them, according to powers and duties pertaining to their official position, but most often do not act. (This failure often involves culpable negligence, breach of duty, misprision of felony, et cetera.)
This should concern Americans, who are constantly victimized by such failure to uphold the law of the land, the impact of which affects economic and social conditions, the free exercise of rights, and every aspect of their lives. The acts unlawfully committed by officials who hold the Constitution in contempt constitute tyranny, as their decision to rule according to their whims, and not according to the law of the land, is tyranny.
Why should anyone take the oath of office seriously? Why should anyone care about rule of law? The consequences of rule by whim are on display throughout history, but perhaps during no time period more obvious than the last 100 years. This is a subject that could be discussed in multivolume works. But just as a brief example of rule by whim during the 20th Century, scores of millions of defenseless civilians were slaughtered by agents of totalitarian regimes, after the populaces under their control had been disarmed. There are many other examples.
America is a land of conflict, where opinions of all kinds are expressed, some of which express opposition to unalienable rights, such as the right to bear arms, concerning which America’s founders specified that the right should be exercised in order to counter tyrannical impulses and actions by those in government. Freedom of expression is a right, without question. But there exists no freedom or right to oppose unalienable rights, regarding which such an act by federal officials constitutes a crime, according to federal law.
For instance, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who should prosecute federal officials for the crime of violating the oath of office, and for crimes simultaneously committed by them, does not. (It is an onerous duty, and the environment of potential subjects for prosecution is target-rich. But Barr should set the bar higher than, for example, Eric Holder.)
And on the other hand, Barr’s support of anti-constitutional law and policy with respect to gun control legislation reflects a contempt for the Second Amendment, for individual rights, and for the legal limits of his own power. It establishes Barr as someone who does not take the oath of office seriously.
While Barr claims to hold that a right exists to bear arms, he states that reasonable regulation must be in effect. And while reasonable regulation might be an unavoidable necessity, Barr supports “red flag” laws, the implementation of which has been irrefutably abusive, subject to abuse, and unlawful.
Barr also suggests that guns must be kept out of the hands of the mentally ill. That seems on its face to be a reasonable statement. But in reality, those whom we have in position to determine who is mentally ill often enough are themselves unfit to make such determinations. It’s a problem. And while no one should own weapons who wishes to use them to harm the innocent, we should not allow politically motivated individuals to use unconstitutional measures to infringe a right.
As Attorney General, Barr should set an example of respect for the supreme law of the land. But he has failed, so far, in this regard. He has much company. In a nation in which there seems not to exist anyone in authority who is willing to enforce constitutional law, it is difficult to find anyone who takes the oath of office seriously.
Until the oath of office is taken seriously by America’s officials, and by the people, America should continue to be misgoverned, the people abused, and the law of the land held in contempt.