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Legal History Commons

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SelectedWorks

2009

5 U.S. 137 (1803)

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

What Oaths Meant To The Framers’ Generation: A Preliminary Sketch, Steve Sheppard Jan 2009

What Oaths Meant To The Framers’ Generation: A Preliminary Sketch, Steve Sheppard

Steve Sheppard

To the Framers’ generation, oaths of office were understood as commitments, both public and personal, which stemmed from a source of morality. Recent discussions have raised concerns over whether or not the closing phrase in many oaths of office, “so help me God,” demonstrates a possible preference by the Framers for religious leaders and commitments to God. Oaths are not only an acceptance of an office itself, but also the acceptance of the office’s obligations. While oaths state an office’s obligations generally, the obligations include all that could be reasonably inferred from the nature of the office, including ...