Each meaning requires a different pre-existing criterion:

The first recorded case of a officer using the "I was only following orders" defense dates back to 1799. During the War with France, Congress passed a law making it permissible to seize ships bound to any French Port. However, when President John Adams wrote the order to authorize the U.S. Navy to do so, he wrote that Navy ships were authorized to seize any vessel bound for a French port, or traveling from a French port. Pursuant to the President's instructions, a U.S. Navy captain seized a Danish Ship (the Flying Fish), which was en route from a French Port.

I examine these two possibilities in turn.

Thus, an association might be a

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France has fairly detailed measures against self-styled orders of knighthood, detailed . Strikingly,the legislation goes beyond the protection of official French ordersto strike at anything that looks like an order. Italyhas some legislation on orders of knighthood, and in 1953 took thesurprising step of publishing a it considers illegitimate, for whatever reason. The Pope (a sovereign)has also made against self-styledorders.

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Sometimes, governments have taken measures to protect their official orders by prohibiting imitations. Other measures go further, and try to stamp out what is seen as a form of fraud, that is, organizationswhich, in the eyes of the government, pass themselves fraudulently asorders of knighthood. This implies that the government has some conceptof what a legitimate order is, but it need not (and usually doesn't)explain that concept.

The term has been used for institutions which arose in three distinctperiods.

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makes it a crime to WILLFULLY disobey a superior Noncommissioned or Warrant Officer. makes it a crime to disobey any lawful order (the disobedience does not have to be "willful" under this article).

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These articles require the obedience of LAWFUL orders. An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders -- if the order was illegal.

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"I was only following orders," has been unsuccessfully used as a legal defense in hundreds of cases (probably most notably by Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg tribunals following World War II). The defense didn't work for them, nor has it worked in hundreds of cases since.

Today, what institution could be legitimately be called an order ofknighthood?

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I think it also helps that the public knows that sometime in the near future the Fed is wanting to raise interest rates while the ECB is still struggling to decide what is their next move.

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The owners of the ship sued the Navy captain in U.S. maritime court for trespass. They won, and the United States Supreme Court upheld the decision. The U.S. Supreme Court held that Navy commanders "act at their own peril" when obeying presidential orders when such orders are illegal.

How about interest rates? That is where the causal relationship ought to be strongest!

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I will argue the following. Starting from the dictionary definitionof "legitimate", I conclude that an order of knighthood can be"legitimate" in two ways: