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If a president is president before the oath, what if he won't take it?

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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:02 PM
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If a president is president before the oath, what if he won't take it?
Presumably LBJ was president the moment JFK died. Otherwise there was no president until he took the oath on Air Force One... doesn't make sense.

So assuming you can be President without taking the oath, what's the penalty for not taking it?

The Constitution says the President shall take it. If he doesn't, who gets the hot potato?

Not taking the oath doesn't sound like an impeachable offense, so I guess it would go to the courts.

Would they say, "You haven't met the qualifications and are not president"?

But you ARE president... and the Supreme Court doesn't have the power to remove someone who IS President. Only Congress has that power.

Since the Constitution says you shall take the oath I guess any federal court could issue an order that you must take it as a responsibility of the president, which you are... how pretzely is that?.

Then, if you didn't, you could be impeached for defying a court order.

:shrug:
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:06 PM
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1. S/He'll be president
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 07:10 PM by elleng
under the Constitution.
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TexasProgresive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:06 PM
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2. As soon as the president is incapacitated the VP is
acting president- once the president is dead the VP is sworn in as president. If he/she refuses (how odd) then it would go to the Speaker of the House - this last is just a guess.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:19 PM
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3. No one knows, as no one has ever refused to take the Oath
There have been, on rare occasion, the president who refuses the ceremony: several presidents chose not to use a Bible, a few have not added the unconstitutional phrase "so help me God" and one president (Nixon, I think, because he was Quaker) chose to use the allowed alternative of "affirm" rather than "swear." But no president has ever outright refused to take the Oath of Office.

If something like that were ever to happen, it would cause a constitutional crisis, and it would be up to the US Supreme Court, as final arbiters of what is and is not constitutional, to decide what happens.
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sohndrsmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:21 PM
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4. He might be declare insane - after working so hard to get to that point... : ) n/t
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