Friday, June 18, 2010


Okay you thought Loyalty Oaths went out with the McCarthy era. Surprise-- Section 623(d) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act contains a non-waivable Loyalty Oath provision not just for federal employees but also STATE and LOCAL employees participating in disaster operations. Where did this requirement come from? Amazingly it was contained in the old Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress. As early as 1955 the Department of Justice issued a formal letter based on court tests of this requirement in other contexts to the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency created in 1972 as the successor organization to all predecessor civil defense agencies. And it was located in the DOD but at that time changed reporting from the Department of the Army and Secretary of the Army to the Secretary of Defense. This of course was in part an expression of lack of interest in the Department of the Army from being involved in various civil defense controversies although oddly the NIXON/KISSINGER duo had some interest in civil defense even conducting and developing a PRM of that effort.

Okay so how did it [the Loyalty Oath] end up in the Robert T. Stafford Act? As liason to the hill for technical support on repeal of the CDA and incorporation in part of the Stafford Act, I gave the Chief Counsel of the House Armed Services Committee the Chief Counsel of the Senate Armed Services Committee a package containing the DOJ non-enforcement memo and several court cases asking that in any transfer this obsolete provision be repealed. After the fact the Chief Counsel in the House said that leaving it out was too controversial. Note this is in 1994 when Public Law 103-337 repealed Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress as then amended incorporating some portions into the Stafford Act.

Note that the history of the Loyalty Oath and its application in full fury to the STATE and LOCAL governments was largely through the CDA!

So I just thought I would mention this in my blog since all GENERAL Counsels of FEMA, Chief Counsel of FEMA, and their legislative and program attorneys have been notified by me of this history, and if not before because of personnel turnover again by this blog post.

What is interesting of course is that DOJ should have recommended veto of Public Law 103-337 based on this UnConstitutional provision. I wish I could write a book on how the American people have been more than occassionally mistreated by their DOJ but don't have the time.

Again hoping someone is listening.