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Cold War-era loyalty oath remains popular among Illinois politicians

By Sam Hudzik, WBEZ

Chicago – The vast majority of candidates for statewide office in Illinois have signed what's called the "loyalty oath." It's an optional form that candidates in may file when they turn in their petitions to get on the ballot.

On it, they swear they're not affiliated with any communist groups, and don't plan to teach or advocate for the overthrow of the government.

A document from the state board of elections says the oath was signed by all but two of the candidates for Illinois governor.

Republican Adam Andrzejewski said it was an oversight he planned to quickly address. However Green Party candidate Rich Whitney objects to the oath on "philosophical grounds," calling it an "arcane and anachronistic provision in the election code."

A federal court in 1972 said the loyalty oath was unconstitutional, so it's been optional ever since.