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AGO 1952 No. 424 - November 03, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

CIVIL DEFENSE ‑- LOYALTY OATH OF WASHINGTON ACT.  AUTHORITY OF STATE DIRECTOR TO AUTHORIZE ADMINISTRATION OF.

There being no express authority granted under the Washington Civil Defense Act of 1952, the State Director of Civil Defense has no authority to authorize civil defense officials in the state and local civil defense organizations to administer the oath requested by section 15 of the act.

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                                                                November 3, 1952 

Honorable D. E. Barbey, Director
Department of Civil Defense
State of Washington
Legislative Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                             Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 424

 Dear Sir:

             By letter of October 15, 1952, you refer to the provisions of subsection (b) of § 2255 of Title 50 U.S.C.A.

             You request our opinion as follows:

            "It is requested that you give an opinion as to whether or not the State Director of Civil Defense has the authority under the Washington Civil Defense Act of 1951 to authorize civil defense officials in the state and local civil defense organizations to administer the oath required by Section 15 of the Act."

             It is our conclusion that your inquiry must be answered in the negative.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]                                                                          

            Section 15 (1) of chapter 178, Laws of 1951, of the Washington Civil Defense Act of 1951, prescribes a specific form of oath to be taken by any person appointed to serve in a civil defense organization established under the act.  Such oath must be taken "before a person authorized to administer oaths in this state."  The Washington Act grants no special authority with respect to the administration of the oath therein prescribed, and under its terms such oath must be administered by a person having authority to administer oaths generally in the state.  Such general authority has been granted to "every court, judge, clerk of a court, justice of a peace, or notary public."  RCW 5.28.010.                                                                        

             There being no express authority granted under the Washington Civil Defense Act of 1951, we are of the opinion that the State Director of Civil Defense has no authority to authorize civil defense officials in the state and local civil defense organizations to administer the oath requested by section 15 of the act.

             The provisions of § 2255 (b) of Title 50 U.S.C.A. refer only to the administration of the specific loyalty oath prescribed by the Federal Civil Defense Act.  They grant express authority to state directors to administer the oath of the Federal Act.  These provisions do not, and could not, add to or detract from the provisions of the Washington Civil Defense Act of 1951 relative to the authority of the State Director with respect to the administration of the oath prescribed by the Washington Act.

 Very truly yours,
 SMITH TROY
Attorney General 

FRED L. HARLOCKER
Assistant Attorney General

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