Did Obama need to re-take the oath?

In an effort to reinvigorate the law and society-ness of the blog, I ask, Did President Obama need to have Justice Roberts return to the White House to readminister the bungled oath?

To recap – Justice Roberts bungled the words and President Obama ended up not saying the words that are constituionally required (Article II Sec. 1). Of course, any Law and Society scholar worth his or her salt will say, “of course not. this is a formality. the election and the whole thing about becoming the President at noon makes the oath unnecessary.” Does anyone care that this is the only part of the constitution that appears in quotes? Am I the only person who thinks it was a good idea to take it again? Perhaps not necessary, but I’m going to say prudent.


5 Responses to Did Obama need to re-take the oath?

  1. ellenhere says:

    No worries, my dear: he retook it!

  2. foodgirl says:

    I agree – better safe than sorry, not for constitutionality but for Internet blabbering nitwits.

  3. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:

    Prudent? If you mean in order to take a point away from the nutjobs, sure, why not. Prudent because there is any possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court would eventually rule that Obama wasn’t really President or his actions weren’t effective because he didn’t say the oath of office exactly as written in Article II? I don’t think so, because, among other reasons, the guy who screwed up is the Chief Justice of the Court that would be issuing the opinion.

    Does it matter if an elected President reverses the order of one of the words in the oath? How about if he leaves one out (“I do swear”, instead of “I do solemnly swear”)? How about if he has a bad lisp? (“I do tholemnly thwear . . .”) What if we elected a President who was incapable of speech — although that seems unlikely (although not more unlikely than a black President may have seemed not that long ago)?

    At a wedding, we wait for the bride and groom to say “I do” because we want to make sure that they really want to get married. Coercion does happen, after all, along with cold feet, and we want to have a final check against both. But if someone takes the trouble to run for President and win, then it seems very unlikely that he really doesn’t want to serve, and to the best of his ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Plus, resigning is easier that getting a divorce.

    (N.B. — I initially wrote that second-to-last sentence using the genderless plural pronoun, “they”, and plural nouns — “don’t” instead of “doesn’t”. My sixth grade daughter, who is learning about pronoun-antecedent agreement, would tell you that that is wrong, and she would be right — indefinite pronouns such as “someone” are always singular, and so I revised the sentence. She is being taught to use “he or she” as the genderless third person pronoun. I told her that some old-fashioned people use “he” as both a masculine and neuter pronoun. I didn’t tell her that I am one of those people, but apparently I am.)

  4. lbsmom says:

    Using the plurals makes life a little easier at times. How did ships, planes, other vehicles become “shes?”

  5. vickywoeste says:

    Totally constitutionally UNnecessary. But politically, the decision was taken in order to keep the nattering nabobs of negativism from going ape-shit for another day. Didn’t work, as they then fixated on the fact that the do-over took place WITHOUT A BIBLE. Guess what: Bible also constitutionally not required. Right-wing blogsphere explodes in fury nonetheless.

    We are in for four, hopefully eight years of this form of entertainment, folks. Fasten your seat belts.

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