United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/1st Congress/1st Session/Chapter 1

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United States Statutes at Large, Volume 1
United States Congress
Public Acts of the First Congress, 1st Session, Chapter I
An Act to regulate the Time and Manner of administering certain Oaths (1 Stat. 23) was the first law passed by the United States Congress after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. It was signed by President George Washington on June 1, 1789, and parts of it still remain on the books.Excerpted from An act to regulate the time and manner of administering certain oaths on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


June 1, 1789.
Chapter Ⅰ.—An Act to regulate the Time and Manner of administering certain Oaths.

Constitution of the U.S. article 6, page 19.Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and [House of] Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the oath or affirmation required by the sixth article of the Constitution of the United States, shall be administered in the form following,Form of the oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States, to be administered to the members of the Senate and to the members of the House of Representatives. to wit: “I, A. B. do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.” The said oath or affirmation shall be administered within three days after the passing of this act, by any one member of the Senate, to the President of the Senate, and by him to all the members and to the secretary; and by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to all the members who have not taken a similar oath, by virtue of a particular resolution of the said House, and to the clerk: and in case of the absence of any member from the service of either House, at the time prescribed for taking the said oath or affirmation, the same shall be administered to such member, when he shall appear to take his seat.

Manner of administering the oath or affirmation to Speaker of the House of Representatives.Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That at the first session of Congress after every general election of Representatives, the oath or affirmation aforesaid, shall be administered by any one member of the House of Representatives to the Speaker; and by him to all the members present, and to the clerk, previous to entering on any other business; and to the members who shall afterwards appear, previous to taking their seats. The President of the Senate for the time being, shall also administerTo each Senator. the said oath or affirmation to each Senator who shall hereafter be elected, previous to his taking his seat: and in any future case of a President of the Senate, who shall not have taken the said oath or affirmation, the same shall be administered to him by any one of the members of the Senate.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted,To the members of the several State Legislatures, and to all executive and judicial officers of the States. That the members of the several State legislatures, at the next sessions of the said legislatures, respectively, and all executive and judicial officers of the several States, who have been heretofore chosen or appointed, or who shall be chosen or appointed before the first day of August next, and who shall then be in office, shall, within one month thereafter, take the same oath or affirmation, except where they shall have taken it before; which may be administered by any person authorized by the law of the State,By whom the oaths or affirmations shall be administered in the several States. in which such office shall be holden, to administer oaths. And the members of the several State legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers of the several States, who shall be chosen or appointed after the said first day of August, shall, before they proceed to execute the duties of their respective offices, take the foregoing oath or affirmation, which shall be administered by the person or persons, who by the law of the State shall be authorized to administer the oath of office; and the person or persons so administering the oath hereby required to be taken, shall cause a record or certificate thereof to be made, in the same manner, as, by the law of the State, he or they shall be directed to record or certify the oath of office.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted,To all officers of the U. States appointed, or to be appointed, before they act. That all officers appointed, or hereafter to be appointed under the authority of the United States, shall, before they act in their respective offices, take the same oath or affirmation, which shall be administered by the person or persons who shall be authorized by law to administer to such officers their respective oaths of office; and such officers shall incur the same penalties in case of failure, as shall be imposed by law in case of failure in taking their respective oaths of office.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted,Oath of secretary of the Senate and clerk of the House of Representatives. That the secretary of the Senate, and the clerk of the House of Representatives for the time being, shall, at the time of taking the oath or affirmation aforesaid, each take an oath or affirmation in the words following, to wit: “I, A. B. secretary of the Senate, or clerk of the House of Representatives (as the case may be) of the United States of America, do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will truly and faithfully discharge the duties of my said office, to the best of my knowledge and abilities.”

Approved, June 1, 1789.