Temple, TX asked in Gov & Administrative Law for Texas

Q: The Governor's Oath of office does not include the people; did I miss where he is to protect us and our rights?

I have always thought that governors like the president were expected to defend and protect their people. If so, why is there no mention of this specifically in the Oath?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: All public representatives, and lawyers, take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Numerous Supreme Court decisions make it clear that none of them, including the police, have any duty to "protect the people," and frankly, we're all safer that way.

Your interests may be very different from mine, so an oath to "protect the people" would inherently create numerous and insoluble conflicts. An oath to uphold the Constitution, on the other hand, obligates them to protect our rights, leaving us free to protect our own interests, which individuals can do better for them selves than anyone else. Think about it - do you really want a government official deciding what's best for you?

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing

A: It says:

N THE NAME AND BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, I, , do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.

presumably, that's covered in "execute the duties of the office...."

The Constitution sets out the duty of the President:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States

As to why there is no mention, you may want to research the writing of each oath. The National Constitution Center can give you guidance for the Federal oath; I assume the Librarian of the Texas State Library can help you research the Texas oath. Sounds like an interesting project.

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