Grassroots Commentary

'Do Solemnly Swear'

Ed Hickey · Feb. 12, 2013

“…Do solemnly swear… and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” These words are spoken by the president at his inauguration. For members of Congress, the first Congress developed this 14 word oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.”

It has been apparent for some time that the president and members of Congress are not abiding by the solemn oath they took regarding the Constitution of the United States. The present Congress, administration, and yes, even the Supreme Court, are waging a war against many provisions of the Constitution attempting change for political gains. The very foundation of our country is the Constitution and the founding fathers wrote a document that has become an icon for democracy the world over. Recognizing that changes to the basic document might be required in the future the Constitution writers included in Article V of the original document provisions for making changes. The first 10 amendments of the 27, called “The Bill of Rights,” are constantly under attack by the president, Congress, judges and progressives who attempt to circumvent Article V and mold the document to their agendas.

A reading of the Bill of Rights and comparing the provisions to what is happening in today’s news vividly indicates that the president and Congress are not abiding by their sworn oaths to support, protect and defend the Constitution. Yet these individuals rule and legislate with impunity. There is no recourse to the American people if these elected officials do not fulfill their oaths of office except to get rid of them at election time. The oath is meaningless, the attacks relentless. During their terms in office they can do incalculable damage to the country in violation of the Constitution, as some already have, yet nothing happens to these oath violators. An oath should be a sacred thing, a person’s word or bond. We must elect people to the presidency and Congress and appoint judiciary who will uphold our founding document, not interpret it for their own ends.

It is a shameful testimony to the American people that they  return these same oath violators to office with the justification that “it’s not MY guy (or woman) that is causing the problems so he/she deserves another term.” Then these same voting individuals will complain that we have a do-nothing, self-serving Congress and the status quo remains. Is there any HOPE that we will get CHANGE in the way our government does the business of the American people? It doesn’t look good.

The Bill of Rights, as a refresher for those that have possibly not read it since high school are below.

  1. Protects the freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government.

  2. Protects the right to bear arms.

  3. Prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers in time of war.

  4. Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause.

  5. Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process and prohibits self incrimination and double jeopardy.

  6. Protects the right to a fair and speedy trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and retain counsel.

  7. Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases according to common law.

  8. Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.

  9. Assets the existence of unenumerated rights retained by the people.

  10. Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated by the constitution.