Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Florida council member says oath is unconstitutional

When I first saw that headline in my e-mail, I thought it was about a legislator taking the stand that the pledge of allegiance was unconstitutional because it contained the words "under God" in it. Turns out, not. A newly-elected village council member in Tequesta, Florida, is refusing to utter the oath of office because it would make him declare allegiance to the presidency:

A newly elected village council member is suing the municipality to have the oath of office declared unconstitutional because it supports the federal government, something he says he does not do.

Basil E. Dalack, 76, an appellate lawyer, also wants the words "and government" removed from the section that reads, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and government of the United States and of the state of Florida." The lawsuit was filed last week in federal court.

The oath violates the Constitution by placing a restraint on Dalack's right to free speech and denies him, without due process, occupancy of his elective office, the lawsuit states.

Dalack said if he reads the oath, he would be a blind supporter of the war in Iraq and of the Bush administration and he would have "the blood of all those Iraqi and American kids on my hands."

I think somebody's confusing government with officeholders.

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