Origins of the Presidency and Official Duties


What is the presidential oath?

The oath of the office for the president is outlined in Article II, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution, and reads as follows: “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.” Usually, the chief justice of the Supreme Court administers the oath, although there is no provision made for this within the Constitution. In fact, throughout American history other judges have administered the oath at times of unexpected presidential succession.

President Ulysses S. Grant takes the presidential oath of office in 1873. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase swears in the new chief executive.


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