Editorial: The do-over oath
The do-over oath
An “abundance of caution” is not a bad trait for a new president to display, particularly when it comes to the legality of his executive actions in these shaky times. So give President Barack Obama credit for running through a second take on the oath of office, which Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and the president slightly flubbed during Tuesday’s inauguration, getting the word “faithfully” out of sequence. Since the Constitution states that the president-elect assumes office at noon on inauguration day, regardless of whether the oath has been administered at that point, Obama’s claim to the presidency wasn’t in jeopardy. But with conspiracy theorists ready to pounce on any supposed irregularity, why give them more fodder for their fantasies ó or for future lawsuits like those falsely claiming he’s not an American citizen? As a local attorney tells us, “what a mess that could be,” and we certainly don’t need any more messes. Best to follow the path of lawyerly caution and banish any doubt with a quick and quiet do-over. Besides, there’s something reassuring in the notion of a commander in chief who is prompt to acknowledge a mistake ó and correct it.