Law Observance: Shall the People of the United States Uphold the Constitution?

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview

AS A PREREQUISITE TO VOTING REQUIRE OATH OF HAVING OBEYED

Thomas Taylor Circuit Judge, Former Appellate Justice Chicago, Illinois

TO make the 18th Amendment effective, my proposal is that the states each enact a law which shall provide that no one may be permitted to vote for a state officer or public measure without first taking an oath that he or she has not, within, say, the preceding year, violated the 18th Amendment to the Federal Constitution, or the so-called Volstead Act.

Such a law, roughly sketched, might be as follows:

Be it enacted by the State of New York that, on and after July 1, 1929, at all elections held within this state, for the filling of any state office or the passage of any public measure, each voter or applicant to vote, shall take and subscribe publicly, in the presence of the judges and clerks of election, an oath that he or she has not violated, within the last preceding 365 days, either the 18th Amendment to the Federal Constitution or to the Volstead Act; and upon failure or refusal to do so, he or she shall not be permitted to vote at such election.


Proposal Constitutional

Under the federal and state constitutions, and the law generally, there is no obstacle to the enactment of a law providing for such an oath by each prospective voter. The right or privilege of voting is one arising under the constitution of each state, and not under the Constitution of the United States. McCarry, on Elections, p. 26, says,

-477-

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