Officers Bound By Constitution

Called Unto Liberty, John Taylor, 19th Century Sermons

In our government, whether in a National, State or Territorial form, all officers, of every grade, are requested to take a solemn oath to sustain and maintain the constitution of the United States, and of the State . . . as the case may be. If these things are not a fiction all these officers and authorities throughout the land in every department . . . are as much bound by their obligations and oaths as the people are bound to be subject to all constitutional laws, and the people are not one whit more bound to the observance of the law than these men are bound to the observance of the sacred and solemn covenants which they have entered into.(14)

And if the people have given up to governors, legislatures, the judiciary and to the officers of the law certain powers, rights and privileges, this authority coming of or from the people, it is expected that they shall act for and in the interests of the people; and furthermore, that while they possess those rights ceded to them by the people, whatever is not thus ceded and placed in the hands of their rulers is emphatically stated to be reserved to the several States or to the people . . . . (15) (16)

It must be understood here in matters pertaining to our government, that no charters or grants of any kind can be given by any parties, in excess of the rights which they themselves possess, and that the same obligations which vest in regard to [p. 84] constitutional rights and guarantees must be observed in all those municipal regulations by the recipients as of the grantees of those charters.

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Source: John Taylor, 1867, Journal of Discourses, Volume 26, p. 348-349. John Taylor (1808-1887) was the third President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.