FPOTNA

(I guess I haven’t set aside childish things just yet!)

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George
George
12 years ago

I’m multi-tasking while watching the inauguration on TV. But I swear BHO skipped the part, in his oath, about defending the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

US Constitution: ART II Sect 1:Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:
“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.”
Call me dim, but what the heck is “FPOTNA”?

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Two Comments:
1. Chief Justice Roberts fugged up the oath. Poor fellow could hardly get the words out.
2. I no longer wince when I hear “Hail to the Chief” played.
OldTimeLefty
PS. Add my name to Tom Schmeling’s question above.

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

Apparently, Roberts tried to do it without a script. There’s a lesson there!
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/01/20/1751351.aspx
The story is that Justice Black, after more than 30 years on the Court, still carried around a pocket Constitution, just to make sure he always stayed close to the text. Roberts should perhaps adopt that approach.
I waiting for the claim to appear somewhere that Obama isn’t really president because the words “execute” and “faithfully” were transposed. I’ll give it about an hour.

pitcher
pitcher
12 years ago

>>Apparently, Roberts tried to do it without a script. There’s a lesson there!>>
Yep, there’s a reason that police are required to *read* the Miranda rights, not recite them. And they read them virtually every day. How often does Roberts execute this oath?

Will
12 years ago

“I waiting for the claim to appear somewhere that Obama isn’t really president because the words “execute” and “faithfully” were transposed. I’ll give it about an hour.”
That was hardly the only mistake in the oath taking. I’m pretty sure they missed the part about upholding the Constitution, too. Fortunately for President Obama, the “real” presidential oath of office is in writing, not the verbal one. He signed it after he gave his speech, but before the luncheon.

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

Will,
What do you mean that “they missed the part about upholding the Constitution”? How so?
I believe George confused the military oath of enlistment with the presidential oath. They are not the same. The president is the commander in chief, but he is not a member of the military. The framers thought this a good thing, and I’m glad they did.
So, what’s your meaning?

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Roberts’ bungling of the oath parallels his bungling of constitutional law.
OTL

mikeinRI
12 years ago

Old Time Lefty sounds angry and bitter. Wouldn’t you agree Prof. Schmeling

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

OTL-who’s your idea of a good SC Justice?Ginsberg?I’m glad for Roberts,Scalia,Alito,and sometimes kennedy for keeping this country from descending completely into a morass of shit.

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

MikeinRi,
No, I don’t think he sounds angry and bitter. Why do you think so?
I mean, it’s a broad and unsubstantiated claim. And it’s not a useful contribution to the discussion. If this were RIF, I’d rate it a “1” (unproductive) or, possibly, a “2” (marginal).
But at least he didn’t call Roberts a “thug” “pimp” or “whore”, which would definitely get a “0”.

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

I think Will is entirely correct about the irrelevance of the spoken oath.
Some have said that the oath is entirely irrelevant to whether Obama can take office, arguing that he’s President at noon on the 20th regardless of the oath, but I think that ART II makes it clear that the oath is a prerequisite to him taking the office.
Whether the spoken oath was bungled or not (and I’m quite convinced that it was and that the blame lays entirely on Roberts) the signing of the written oath solves the problem.
It seems that I was not quite right in my prediction that it would take an hour for somebody to question whether Obama is actually entitled to assume the presidency.
If you want to do some weird Constitutional law, you might ask whether, if the oath was bungled, who was the president between the time that Bush left office at 12:00 and the time that Obama signed the oath at 12:??. But you would have to be a serious Constitution nerd to care.
Brassband? Anyone?
“Well, again, we’re wondering here whether or not Barack Obama in fact is the president of the United States,” Chris Wallace told Fox News viewers, well over an hour after Obama had taken the oath of office today.
“Fox News replayed the swearing-in moment when President Obama and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. each bobbled the words to the constitutional oath. “They had a kind of garbled oath,” Wallace said.
“It’s just conceivable that this will end up going to the courts,” Wallace speculated.”

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Wallace has to be kidding or else,he has a serious case of head up the ass.
I forgot to mention Clarence Thomas when I spoke of SC Justices who are making the right decisions.He doesn’t seem to write many opinions,but he votes the right way almost every time out.

Will
12 years ago

What do you mean that “they missed the part about upholding the Constitution”? How so?
Thomas,
It wasn’t meant as a dig; I meant that literally. When the Chief Justice read the oath, I was almost certain that the part about “to protect and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic” was either omitted entirely, or at least, badly mutilated. I think everyone can agree they both botched it. I assume standing in front of several million people staring at you, can cause some nerves.
Anyway, the point is largely irrelevant, as I earlier pointed out, that there is in fact a written oath that was signed shortly afterward.
PS In case anyone was wondering, technically, he would have become President at 12 noon, regardless of when the oath was actually taken, as long as he eventually took it, as the time and date of the onset of the incoming president’s administration are specified in the Constitution (as amended).

Will
12 years ago

I am making a self-correction regarding “to protect and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic” Apparently, I am thinking of a different oath. Apologies.
The presidential oath as proscribed in the Constitution is:
“I do solemnly swear 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.” [so help me God] is traditionally inserted afterward, since George Washington did it.
Anyway, I’m sure the written version was correct, so I don’t think anyone credible is going to deny that he’s actually the president, unlike certain liberals who denied that George W. Bush’s legitimacy as president.

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Tom Schmeling,
I am properly chastised by your comments.
I very clumsily tried to say that I do not like Roberts’ decisions or his reasoning in arriving at them. I was speaking figuratively, but not angrily or bitterly.
joe,
I think that the Constitution is a living document and that it should be interpreted in light of the age. The justices whom you cited don’t see it that way.
OldTimeLefty

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

OTL-okay,I disagree with you on that 100%.When modification is needed we have the amendment process,which is by good judgement,slow and deliberative.
Adding new interpretations farther and farther from the “black letter law”of the original document is destructive to the Republic.
The issue of the “living Constitution”is one we just cannot appreciate each other’s position on and I wouldn’t think to try and change your mind.

brassband
brassband
12 years ago

“But you would have to be a serious Constitution nerd to care.”
Actually, you’d prolly have to be both a constitutional and statuory nerd. I think that the answer is supplied by 3 U.S.C. sec. 101, the statute that sets the date for the commencement of the President’s term:
“The term of four years for which a President and Vice President shall be elected, shall, in all cases, commence on the 20th day of January next succeeding the day on which the votes of the electors have been given.”
It does not set a specific time for administering the oath, and I therefore read that to say that President Bush remained in office until President Obama took the oath (which either happened in the public ceremony or in the later signing event inside the Capitol).

Mario
Mario
12 years ago

In case anyone is concerned, I understand that Roberts and Obama re-did the oath (slowly and flawlessly) later on.

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