Public Employees

Exposing the absurdity of loyalty oaths

Exposing the absurdity of loyalty oaths

Award-winning author James Sallis has spent the last decade teaching writing courses at Phoenix College, blithely unaware that he was violating Arizona law because he had never signed the loyalty oath that is required for all public employees in the state. But someone in the community college's administration discovered the omission recently and told Sallis he would have to sign the oath to continue working. Rather than do so, he quit.

If this feels like a snap back to the postwar blacklist era, you're right. And Arizona isn't alone in clinging to this objectionable relic of the Cold War years. The federal government requires civil servants to sign a loyalty oath as well, as do many...