Skip to comments.President Obama’s Oath
Posted on 01/21/2009 10:07:34 AM PST by AuH2ORepublican
Tuesday, a few minutes after noon Eastern Standard Time, the world watched as Barack Obama took the oath of office as President of the United States of America. Since such event, President Obama has formally submitted to the Senate nominations for Cabinet officers and will likely issue several executive orders in the next few days. However, due to what we all saw take place during the swearing-in ceremony, those actions by the President may well be unconstitutional.
Before you continue, please note that this piece is not about President Obama not meeting the constitutional qualifications to become president under the theory, buttressed by comments made by the Presidents Kenyan step-grandmother, that he was born in Kenya, not Hawaii. It is true that had President Obama been born outside of the United States he would not have been a U.S. citizen at birth (and thus would not be a natural-born citizen under Article II of the Constitution) because, at the time of his birth, his mother had not resided in the United States for at least five years after the age of 14 (she was 18 years old) as required for passing on her U.S. citizenship to a child born abroad with a non-citizen father. However, there is no factual evidence of President Obama having been born in Kenya, and even if this were proven and he had to leave office, his actions as president prior to such time would be valid, for the same reason that laws passed with the vote of a member of Congress later ruled not to have won his election are not nullified. What I am talking about is the possibility that, irrespective of President Obamas place of birth, his actions as president may themselves violate the Constitution.
Article II of the Constitution provides that, before a president may enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath, and proceeds to supply the precise wording required for the presidential oath. Chief Justice John Roberts, while administering the oath of office to President Obama, misspoke when reciting the part of the oath that states that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States. President Obama paused, realizing the error, and the Chief Justice quickly rectified himself, but President Obama responded that I will execute the office of president of the United States faithfully, misplacing the word faithfully. The result was an admittedly minor variation in the prescribed language, but it obviously was not identical to the presidential oath mandated by the Constitution. Rarely does the Constitution require anything as specific as the presidential oath, and, before brushing aside questions as to the legality of the modification as hyper-technical nitpicking, one should consider how often form defeats substance in courts of law.
The 20th Amendment to the Constitution declares that the new presidents term begins at noon on January 20, and taking the oath of office is not a requirement to become president, so it is indisputable that Barack Obama is the President of the United States. However, given that President Obama did not take the exact oath of office specifically required by the Constitution before a president may enter on the execution of his office, it follows that he is constitutionally forbidden from carrying out the duties of the presidency and thus may not send Cabinet nominations to the Senate, issue executive orders, or sign or veto laws approved by Congress. Unlike an act carried out by a president that is later found not to be qualified to hold office, an act by a president that has not taken the required oath is null and void. Given that millions of citizens may be affected by a single law or executive order, the issue of standing likely would not be an impediment to questioning the Presidents authority to execute his office; if a person that violates a law signed by President Obama claims the illegality of the laws approval as a defense, the court would be hard pressed to ignore the claim.
The thought of every official act carried out by the president being a nullity is too troubling for words; imagine a U.S. Ambassador to China having his diplomatic immunity stripped because his appointment was an unconstitutional act, or a family having its farm foreclosed because the law that prevented such foreclosure was not legally approved. Fortunately, there is a remarkably swift and easy solution to this problem: President Obama can take the oath of office again (a private oath would suffice), and re-submit all nominations to the Senate. By correcting the mistake he made during his swearing-in ceremony, President Obama can remove all doubt as to the efficacy of his official acts as president. Let us hope that the President does the conservative thing in this instance.
Because Obama was adopted by an Indonesian and attained Indonesian dual citizenship and never renounced it, he can't be President.
Now, because he didn't say the oath properly, he can't be President?
I guess that would make Obama the most illegitimate President in history.
The required oath is:
“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.”
Do you see what the issue there is? According to Article II “so help me God” is not there.
So, it follows that pretty well all Presidents have incorrectly sworn the oath.
This is how dumb this argument actually is.
boy, that’s a mouthfull!
If something like this gets focused on too much, it becomes a mockery item. Nobody really cares. Time is better spent pointing out how effed up his policies are going to be.
The "So Help Me GOD" portion is after the prescribed verbiage and not really part of the oath, but always present, much like when everyone cheers after the National Anthem is sung at a ballgame.
What you saw yesterday was a ceremonial oath, after what you saw, the President signs the official oath making it legal. A little goof with the ceremonial doesn’t impact anything.
You can’t have it both ways.
The argument is that Obama did not say the oath exactly as written in the Constitution. The oath as written does not contain “so help me God”.
If the requirement is that the oath was be taken EXACTLY as written, adding “so help me God” is an issue as well.
It’s a really dumb argument.
When you hope for change, you grasp on dumb things.
No. Anything said after the prescribed oath is something else. If he omitted the "So Help Me GOD" and started into his specch by saying "Ladies and Gentlemen ..." that would not be part of the oath.
He also added “Barack Hussein Obama” between the “I” and the “do” (as other presidents have added their name).
Nope sorry the blogger above states that:
he shall take the following oath, and proceeds to supply the precise wording required for the presidential oath.
The precise wording does not include “so help me god”
And it really doesn’t matter anyways.
That's silly. It's like saying you can speak before or after the oath or the oath isn't valid. The point is that anything said before or after isn't part of the oath. But changing the words in the oath changes the oath.
Can = Can't.
In the grand scheme of things, this sounds like a trifle...
We should keep our powder dry for substantive matters, rather than acting like moonbats over trivialities...
Well I say we all let it go to the Supreme Court then. What do you really, and I mean really think Roberts will do?
What about the other Supremes?