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Analysis: Deciding With Whom You Associate
Even Oath Keepers have the right to freedom of association

Every Individual of the age of consent has the authority and right to decide for himself or herself whether to associate or not to associate.

In his majority opinion for the Supreme Court case of the NAACP v. Alabama (1958), Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote, “It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the ‘liberty’ assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech.”

The court ruled that the individual members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have the right to associate together free from the undue interference of the state. The members of the NAACP have a right to expressive association, which refers to the right of people to associate together for expressive political purposes. Unfortunately, today, the Biden Administration and others in the US Government are undermining and attacking the right to the freedom of association.

Their ultimate goal is to purge their ranks and society overall from what they deem as right-wing militia groups when in reality they are trying to silence the debate and dissent of their political adversaries.

The Oath Keepers are now in the sights of the feds because some of their members entered the US Capitol on January 6th in the so-called insurrection. Even though the organization was already under the scrutiny of the feds, their investigations have immensely intensified with the new administration, which is making difficulties for members of the Oath Keepers who currently serve in law enforcement.

There was a recent hit piece released by the taxpayer-funded Oregon Public Broadcasting titled, Dozens of Oregon law enforcement officers have been members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia.” In the article, they do their best to impugn the reputation of several police officers because of their membership and association with the Oath Keepers organization without taking into consideration that these officers have the right to associate or not associate with whomever they choose.

OPB took data that was illegally hacked from the Oath Keepers databases and crossed referenced it against public records, social media, and state law enforcement certification information for verification. They soon found out that there were dozens of current law enforcement officers who are members of the organization all across the US. Some of those officers are serving the public here in the state of Oregon. Remember, the name of this group is Oath Keepers, so it would only be reasonable to think that some of their members might be cops who are currently on the beat because cops have rights too.

Most citizens want the police to be dedicated to their oath, so it should not matter that they would belong to a group that celebrates fidelity to duty. Loyalty to the US Constitution seems to be a quality missing in government. Many could very well claim that today’s politicians are oath breakers not oath keepers, so it is refreshing to see such patriotism in people assigned to uphold the laws of our country.

The Oath Keeper’s website states:

“Oath Keepers is a nonpartisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That oath, mandated by Article VI of the Constitution itself, is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and Oath Keepers declare that they will not obey unconstitutional orders, such as orders to disarm the American people, to conduct warrantless searches, or to detain Americans as “enemy combatants” in violation of their ancient right to jury trial.”

OPB also makes the mistake of labeling the Oath Keepers as an antigovernment, anti-immigrant extremist group, which could not be further from the truth as an organization. Public Broadcasting is a known tool of the establishment, so their reporting is an extension of the government's McCarthy-style witch-hunt against anyone opposed to the Marxist reset.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Most members of Oath Keepers believe in a constitutionally limited government that delivers maximum liberty and minimal authority. It is what oath-keeping is all about. Many members support legal immigration, but they are opposed to the government allowing illegal aliens to violate US immigration laws.

The organization is fervently opposed to communism, fascism, white supremacy, or racial superiority. There are members of Oath Keepers who are first-generation immigrants who have faithfully served this country, there are members of many different ethnicities involved with the group and the one common denominator between these people is their belief in the American way. There are no disqualifications for membership based on race, or sex meaning they do not discriminate based on a person’s immutable qualities. Those beliefs are not extreme.

What is extreme? Those who are promoting open borders, big government with unchecked powers, and the elimination of the US Constitution because of the belief that it is inherently racist. During the Oregon 2021 Legislative Session, Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas) and Senator James Manning, Jr. (D-Eugene) introduced HB 2936, which states “membership or participation in hate groups, racial supremacist organizations or militant groups erodes public trust in law enforcement officers and community safety.”

Signed by Governor Kate Brown, the new law HB 2936 is another way the Oregon legislators can virtue signal to the “woke” while simultaneously restricting the voices of anyone who disagrees with their agenda. Moreover, it helps them purge the ranks of the police of people who have other beliefs.

The problem with HB 2936 arises with a basic question.

Who gets to make the decision on which groups are hate groups, or are racial supremacist organizations, or even which group is militant? It is a lot of power for any one person or group of people and with the ever-changing contemporary meanings of words with definitions so broad and so vague, the courts could label anything and everything as hateful or racist.

Is a shooting club militant? Is the NAACP a racial supremacist organization? Are the Girl Scouts a hate group? Who gets to decide? What about government officials who belong, donate, and sponsor Antifa, Black Lives Matter, or even the Communist Party? Some would say that all three organizations are hate groups yet their members make up a good portion of the base of the Democratic Party.

Another problem arises from the new authority that the legislators created in HB 2936. The law may violate the Oregon and US Constitutions. Article 1, Section 8 of the Oregon State Constitution states that "No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever; but every person shall be responsible for the abuse of this right."

HB 2936 restrains free expression of opinion, it restricts the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject and it makes someone else responsible for deciding if speech and association with others is a crime. It is a clear violation of the rights of people serving in law enforcement.

Every organization is going to have good and bad members and the law should not judge a group by the actions and words of others. The government should punish people who commit crimes, but the government should never deny a right to one individual based on the actions of another individual, or groups of individuals. The law has to make a judgment based on the merits and actions of the individual no matter how extreme their beliefs are or whom they associate with, and before anyone makes that judgment they had better remember even Jesus associated with lepers, prostitutes, and thieves.

Editor's note: The author, Rob Taylor is a radio show host on www.KWRO.com in Coos County Oregon and you can hear his podcasts at www.RobTaylorReport.com. Rob has never been a member of the Oath Keepers and he does not belong to any political party.


--Rob Taylor

Post Date: 2021-10-21 07:13:52Last Update: 2021-10-21 09:57:19



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