Does the president need to take the oath of office?
January 20, 2009 4:48 PM Subscribe
A few questions about the oath of office and when the president-elect becomes president...
posted by bchaplin to Law & Government (34 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When exactly does the president-elect become president? Today's New York Times mentioned that due to the schedule running late, Barack Obama actually took the oath of office after noon, and so he was already president when he was sworn in.
This got me thinking. If for some reason the president:
A) Could not take the oath of office due to extreme circumstances, or
B) Chose not to swear on the Bible (let's say he was a Hindu, Muslim or atheist), or
C) Decided to re-word the oath in some way
would that have any bearing on his legitimacy as president? Does the declared winner simply become president at noon on January 20, regardless of whether he takes the oath or not, and whether or not the protocols were observed?