FRANKFORT, Ky. — When you take the oath of office in Kentucky, you have to swear that you haven't taken part in a duel with deadly weapons.
The promise usually elicits laughter, and state Rep. Darryl Owens has proposed amending the Kentucky Constitution to do away with the archaic language. The Democrat's proposal cleared a House committee Tuesday.
According to Carl Chelf, a retired political science professor at Western Kentucky University, the language comes from Kentucky's frontier days, when the state was a hotbed for dueling. Chelf says the framers of the state constitution wanted to clean up Kentucky's reputation as a haven where people came to fight duels.
If the proposal passes the House and Senate, voters would be asked in November whether they want to take the language out.
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