1950 October 3

Gov. Earl Warren Signs Levering Act, Loyalty Oath for all State Employees


The Levering Act, which California Governor Earl Warren signed on this day, imposed a loyalty oath on all public employees in the state. It was separate from the University of California loyalty oath for all university system employees, which was adopted on April 21, 1950, and was the subject of a major controversy during the Cold War. The California Supreme Court declared the University of California loyalty oath unconstitutional on October 17, 1952 and the Levering Act unconstitutional in December 1967.

The insidious aspect of all the loyalty oaths of the Cold War era was that they related to political beliefs and associations and had nothing to do with any specific criminal or unprofessional conduct on the part of individuals required to sign them.

Learn more at a timeline on the California loyalty oath controversy: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/loyaltyoath/timeline_test.html

Read: David Gardner, The California Oath Controversy (1967)

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