The first of my issues that I will be covering surrounding Barack Obama’s presidency will be that of taking an Oath by a President. Therefore, any act by a President that has not taken the required Oath as stipulated in Article 2, Section 1, Clause 8 of the Constitution is considered null and void. Duties that are assigned to the Office would be to send Cabinet nominations to the Senate, issue executive orders, or sign or veto laws approved by Congress.
I start with this topic as it doesn’t personally amount to much when discussing the eligibility as the 20th Amendment to the Constitution declares that Obama attains the title of President at noon on January 20 but cannot perform duties assigned to that Office until the President takes the Oath. At which point he will “enter on the execution of his office.”
Even though taking the oath of office is not a requirement to become president, it is non-the-less a constitutional question in duties assigned to that position and to be technical it is spelt out in the Constitution how the proceedings of taking the oath are to be done.
At first attempt, in front of hundreds of millions, Obama did not complete the Oath as stipulated in the Constitution. The issue was in which “faithfully” was said out of sequence and the word “to” instead of “of” was used. This lead to a second attempt. A reaction to the initial attempt from the White House counsel Greg Craig explains further:
“We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the President was sworn in appropriately yesterday. But the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath a second time.”
The second attempt was in a much smaller venue in which it did not allow for TV camera crews or news photographers. It could be that it was because a Bible was not used during the taking of Oath ceremony, in which many Americans would say that it would be a requirement and thus leaving more questions about the eligibility.
It is worthy to note that two other previous presidents have had to repeat the oath because of similar issues, Calvin Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur, however they swore on a Bible.