/ January 21, 2009

Obama Might Not Have Become President While You Were Watching

Article II, Section 1 contains the language for the presidential oath stating that the president “shall” state these words: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” 
But on inauguration day, Chief Justice Roberts and Obama transposed the required words.  Rather than stating the constitutionally required words “faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States,” Obama said he would “execute the Office of the President of the United States faithfully.” 
No one is seriously disputing that Obama is the president.  Further, it seems unlikely that courts would hear any far-fetched challenge to his executive authority  Still, Obama retook the oath of office at the White House last night.  Obama reportedly joked that he and Justice Roberts would go “very slowly” this time.  
Interestingly, Obama’s not the first president to redo his oath.  Under similar circumstances, Calvin Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur both retook the oath after the ceremony. 

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