I dug out the name and story

I mentioned in the post the other day about California loyalty oaths that I remembered reading about someone who was able to get around it. Many professors had fought this loyalty oath since 1949 when the Regents imposed it. Even graduate students had to sign this oath.

I’m not sure if this is the one I remember but one was James Endres Howell , a molecular biologists at Berkeley. He explains the story here. As he states, it is hard to take it ‘freely’ when it is a condition of employment and could result in termination if not taken.

Another biologist discusses his run-in with he oath here. He got around the oath by finding a novel route to fund his graduate work.

And, you have to sign a new oath if you are re-employed after one year. It is like in that one year, you went and became disloyal but now retaking the oath will turn you loyal again.

The ironic thing is that to actually support and defend the Constitution would also mean fighting against the use of loyalty oaths as a requirement for employment. We fought a Revolution and created the Constitution partly so that Americans did not have to prove their loyalty to the State.

I just wonder what in the world they expect to do with someone who really is disloyal but signs the oath? What determines disloyalty? Has anyone ever been sent to prison for signing this oath and then being found disloyal? Would you get into trouble if you said “I think the 14th Amendment is garbage and needs to be changed?”

Do they really think that a real Communist infiltrator is going to see this oath and simply turn around? The only people this oath seems to trap are people of real conviction about its meaning, like Quakers.