Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

If your question is literally about technicalities, then it really depends on the interpretation of the specific wording by an entity with authority to make an official decision on the matter.

My question is literally about the technicality of whether or not it matters that Trump didn't complete taking oath of office by noon.  And so, yes, an authority to make an official decision on the matter I think is warranted.

27 (edited by Xeno 22-Jan-2017 04:14:35)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

I think that since the terms of POTUSes are to begin at noon on inauguration day, and their terms can begin only after taking their oaths of office before noon on their respective inauguration days, all Obama's and Trump's executive orders are invalid because neither of them completed their oaths of office before noon on their inauguration days  smile (unless their executive orders are also signed by their respective vice presidents). sad

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Since when was it ever universally agreed upon that strict constructionism of the constitution was the universally accepted interpretation?

Make Eyes Great Again!

The Great Eye is watching you... when there's nothing good on TV...

29 (edited by Xeno 22-Jan-2017 18:37:54)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

The Great Eye wrote:

Since when was it ever universally agreed upon that strict constructionism of the constitution was the universally accepted interpretation?

Are you accusing me of something? What's 'strict constructionism'?

Either government adheres to the letter and spirit of and protects the constitution or it doesn't; if people in government do not, society loses confidence in the rule of law - not something anyone, even 'anarchists' (at least the true anarchists) wants to see happen.

Those employed in all government departments, members of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches alike, should ALL take their oaths to abide by and protect the constitution seriously, and if there is any constitutional ambiguity at all (even in a seemingly slight technical matter), the appropriate authorities (the supreme court / congress / senate) should look into the matter and make a ruling on it, in my opinion.

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

No accusation.  It's a legitimate argument.

When dealing with the constitution, there have historically been two different modes of thinking prevalent in the US: strict and loose constructionists.  Strict constructionism is the legal philosophy that argues the words and phrases in the Constitution are to be interpreted in their most literal sense.  Think Antonio Scalia here.  Loose constructionism, in contrast, interprets the constitution according to the spirit of the law more than the letter of the law.  Ruth Bader Ginsberg would be a solid "look at this one" for what we're looking at here.  Although contemporary politics suggests that strict constructionism is generally associated with conservative philosophical politics and loose constructionism with liberal politics, it's not always the case.  But I digress.

There is one simple reason I bring this up: In over 200 years of governance, there has never been a conclusive decision on which interpretation is the end-all proper mode of understanding the Constitution.  Hell... the Supreme Court case that even allowed courts to look into constitutional matters was a bit of a stretch... very "loose constructionist"-y.  So if you're relying solely on a strict interpretation of the Constitution and saying "because it doesn't fit that, it's wrong," you're not doing all the homework required to assert a thing is unconstitutional.

This debate strikes me as a 100% "spirit of the law vs. letter of the law" debate... because there's no way in hell the two are working together this time.  I'm pretty sure there's a good argument that the framers would not want a person who was elected through the democratic process subsequently unable to carry out their duties as president because they were five minutes late on being sworn in, as long as said person did not attempt to exercise any authority as president (i.e., signing bills) before taking the oath of office.  Two important problems occur with the strict interpretation:

1: It would render candidates invalid due to delays that happen in everyday life.  People are late for things.  It's not foreseen, and it's not expected, although it's a common occurrence.
2: There is no reversibility.  If the noon deadline is missed... it's gone forever, so there's no way anyone can go back and fix the mistake.

Combined, that puts the government in an odd situation where if people can force a delay in the oath (for example, through spontaneous security threats), people conducting illegal activity can permanently invalidate an individual who has been elected to office, and could subsequently perform that duty in office if not for the interference whose only result is invalidation by missing an arbitrary deadline.

No, there's no way in hell that interpretation would stand up in any court.  tongue

Make Eyes Great Again!

The Great Eye is watching you... when there's nothing good on TV...

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Because I'm not going to sit here and read two pages of back and forth over a specific clause that doesn't really matter, I will hearken back to when people tried to claim Obama wasn't president because he messed up the oath.

The inauguration is a ceremony. Nothing but a formality. Just like Obama was still president even when he goofed the oath, Trump is still president even if the stupid cannons fired a tad early.

Praise Kek

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Specifically, The 20th amendment that was previously quoted just mentions what time the old administration's term ends.

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/amendments-11-27

Article 2 Section 1, paragraph 8, specifies the new president just has to take the oath before he takes any actions as president. He doesn't even have to do it publicly. The ceremony is just tradition.

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/ … transcript

Ok. Now then. Back to my netflix binge and mustering up motivation to venture forth into the world for picking up needed items. #hermit_life

Praise Kek

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Bonus: That same article also mentions that if the president-elect is deemed not qualified or dies, the VICE PRESIDENT-Elect will take office in his place. So all those idiots calling for Trump to be invalidated, ok cool. You would have gotten President Pence instead.

As a side note, The Federalist Papers are a series of persuasive essays. They are not the Constitution and they are not the spirit of the Constitution. They were written in an effort to convince state governments to ratify the constitution. The actual text of the constitution does not give any qualifications for president other than being at least 35 years of age and a natural born citizen of the US or naturalized as of the time the Constitution was ratified.

Praise Kek

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Xeno wrote:

Those employed in all government departments, members of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches alike, should ALL take their oaths to abide by and protect the constitution seriously, and if there is any constitutional ambiguity at all (even in a seemingly slight technical matter), the appropriate authorities (the supreme court / congress / senate) should look into the matter and make a ruling on it, in my opinion.

This is a valid opinion, but the tricky part is that even saying "any constitutional ambiguity" is a matter left to interpretation.  If you abstract far enough this ends up being an argument less about the constitution and more about deciphering the intent of language itself.

Who defines "constitutional ambiguity"?  By what means do they define it and is there any ambiguity within those means?  If so, what entity rules on the definition of those means and by what means do they make such a ruling?  Who defines those means of the means?  Ad infinitum.

This very quickly devolves into a confusing semantic soup.  In reality there is a threshold where a "good enough" interpretation is good enough, even if potentially imperfect.

In order for this matter to be anything other than an interesting thought exercise, enough people would have to care about it to affect the parties in power.

I don't think you're incorrect in your interpretation, although I don't agree with it.  My question to you would be: how would you intend to take action on this if you wanted to pursue raising the issue and possibly getting it resolved by a higher authority?

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

I like pie wrote:
Xeno wrote:

Those employed in all government departments, members of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches alike, should ALL take their oaths to abide by and protect the constitution seriously, and if there is any constitutional ambiguity at all (even in a seemingly slight technical matter), the appropriate authorities (the supreme court / congress / senate) should look into the matter and make a ruling on it, in my opinion.

This is a valid opinion, but the tricky part is that even saying "any constitutional ambiguity" is a matter left to interpretation.  If you abstract far enough this ends up being an argument less about the constitution and more about deciphering the intent of language itself.

Who defines "constitutional ambiguity"?  By what means do they define it and is there any ambiguity within those means?  If so, what entity rules on the definition of those means and by what means do they make such a ruling?  Who defines those means of the means?  Ad infinitum.

If only the United States had some sort of entity that was specifically tasked with ruling on constitutional ambiguities.  Like... some sort of... court... whose opinion was considered... supreme... in constitutional matters.

Make Eyes Great Again!

The Great Eye is watching you... when there's nothing good on TV...

36 (edited by Xeno 23-Jan-2017 01:04:45)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

The Great Eye wrote:

If only the United States had some sort of entity that was specifically tasked with ruling on constitutional ambiguities.  Like... some sort of... court... whose opinion was considered... supreme... in constitutional matters.

lol

I Like Pie wrote:

My question to you would be: how would you intend to take action on this if you wanted to pursue raising the issue and possibly getting it resolved by a higher authority?

I would lobby a senator or whoever - whoever it is that can get the Supreme Court to make a ruling on it.

Zarf wrote:

  I'm pretty sure there's a good argument that the framers would not want a person who was elected through the democratic process subsequently unable to carry out their duties as president because they were five minutes late on being sworn in [...]

I could just as easily argue that the framers of the 20th amendment were 'strict' about the noon hand-over (and oaths finished before then) for a good reason: they thought that the peaceful transfer of power was so important to preserving the Republic that even the merest HINT that the transfer of power was not to be handed-over peacefully was deemed sufficient grounds for the automatic implementation of martial law to prevent a coup.

Moreover, it might have been deemed irrelevant what any reason there might be for the oaths not to have be properly completed on time, and that the very fact that the oaths were not properly completed on time should be perceived a possible threat to the peaceful transference of power and thus the survival of the Republic itself, a threat to be met instantaneously at 12:00 noon with the full force of the US  military by an instantaneous, automatic implementation of martial law.

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

The Great Eye wrote:

If only the United States had some sort of entity that was specifically tasked with ruling on constitutional ambiguities.  Like... some sort of... court... whose opinion was considered... supreme... in constitutional matters.

You left out the rest of my post, which is critical to the point:

I like pie wrote:

This very quickly devolves into a confusing semantic soup.  In reality there is a threshold where a "good enough" interpretation is good enough, even if potentially imperfect.

Even the Supreme Court can only make a "good enough" interpretation.  Ambiguity to some degree is unavoidable, and the more significant question here isn't one of interpretation or technicalities, it's the question of process.

As in: ok, some people think something questionable may have happened.  So what do they actually do about it?

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

hmm Did I provide too much info? So much that no one has a response?

Praise Kek

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

twistedpuppet wrote:

hmm Did I provide too much info? So much that no one has a response?

No, I think we already dealt with the info you provided in previous posts you didn't bother to read. tongue

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Xeno wrote:
twistedpuppet wrote:

hmm Did I provide too much info? So much that no one has a response?

No, I think we already dealt with the info you provided in previous posts you didn't bother to read. tongue

tongue

Praise Kek

41 (edited by Xeno 23-Jan-2017 04:58:44)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

twistedpuppet wrote:

He doesn't even have to do it publicly. The ceremony is just tradition.

Whether he takes the oath during the inauguration ceremony is not the issue.

The issue is that the taking of the oaths of office for the last three incumbent POTUSes (Obama twice, and Trump once) have not been completed properly by 11:59:59 on their respective inauguration days.  What are the implications of this?

What was the status of the office of POTUS from 12 noon January 20th, 2009 until Obama completed the oath properly the next day?  Was it executed?  It shouldn't have been, otherwise that would have violated article 2 clause 8 of the constitution; this is why he had to redo the oath the next day.  Why is simply redoing the oath considered constitutional?

What happened again in 2013?  Did Obama complete the oath properly by noon? Apparently not.  Did he redo it again?  Or did he execute the office of POTUS in spite of not properly completing his oath of office?  What are the implications of this?

And what of Trump's oath of office?  He hadn't finished it by noon on January 20th, 2017.  Would he have to redo it later because he completed it late to begin with?  Why would that remedy anything?  Again, what are the implications of this?

I'd personally like to hear some authority to rule on the matter.  As Canadian, I am quite concerned by what's going on with the US these days.

Who's the POTUS?  Was the US officially yet clandestinely operating under martial law these last 2 presidencies?  This would explain a lot. 

And with Trump not completing the oath by noon, can the world expect anther 4 years of the same semblance of clandestine martial law that we've seen the last 8 years?

/adjusts tinfoil hat

42 (edited by The Great Eye 23-Jan-2017 07:12:40)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Xeno wrote:
I Like Pie wrote:

My question to you would be: how would you intend to take action on this if you wanted to pursue raising the issue and possibly getting it resolved by a higher authority?

I would lobby a senator or whoever - whoever it is that can get the Supreme Court to make a ruling on it.


You'd need a lawyer and a relevant case.

The Supreme Court only makes rulings on constitutional cases as a result of a case occurring and being appealed to them.  You would need to first find a case somewhere in which this issue becomes a relevant legal point.  You would have to argue the point in court, and upon losing the initial case (because generally, lower courts don't like to make far-reaching points of law), you'll appeal it to higher courts.  Although you would definitely be heard in your jurisdiction's relevant appeals court, the Supreme Court has one major barrier to hearing cases: overload.  They get a couple tens of thousands of appeal requests every year, and only have time to hear a couple dozen... so they tend to hear only ones with the most important (not necessarily controversial) constitutional issues.

Why do I say this?


Xeno wrote:
Zarf wrote:

  I'm pretty sure there's a good argument that the framers would not want a person who was elected through the democratic process subsequently unable to carry out their duties as president because they were five minutes late on being sworn in [...]

I could just as easily argue that the framers of the 20th amendment were 'strict' about the noon hand-over (and oaths finished before then) for a good reason: they thought that the peaceful transfer of power was so important to preserving the Republic that even the merest HINT that the transfer of power was not to be handed-over peacefully was deemed sufficient grounds for the automatic implementation of martial law to prevent a coup.

Moreover, it might have been deemed irrelevant what any reason there might be for the oaths not to have be properly completed on time, and that the very fact that the oaths were not properly completed on time should be perceived a possible threat to the peaceful transference of power and thus the survival of the Republic itself, a threat to be met instantaneously at 12:00 noon with the full force of the US  military by an instantaneous, automatic implementation of martial law.


... because the funniest thing I'll end up doing all year will be reading the Supreme Court's response to this argument.  This is like Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp. or Gerald Mayo v. Satan and his Staff material!  big_smile

How the hell are you equating "five minutes late" with "shadow lizard government"?

Make Eyes Great Again!

The Great Eye is watching you... when there's nothing good on TV...

43 (edited by The Great Eye 23-Jan-2017 10:42:46)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

I like pie wrote:
The Great Eye wrote:

If only the United States had some sort of entity that was specifically tasked with ruling on constitutional ambiguities.  Like... some sort of... court... whose opinion was considered... supreme... in constitutional matters.

You left out the rest of my post, which is critical to the point:

I like pie wrote:

This very quickly devolves into a confusing semantic soup.  In reality there is a threshold where a "good enough" interpretation is good enough, even if potentially imperfect.

Even the Supreme Court can only make a "good enough" interpretation.  Ambiguity to some degree is unavoidable, and the more significant question here isn't one of interpretation or technicalities, it's the question of process.

As in: ok, some people think something questionable may have happened.  So what do they actually do about it?


The point still stands.  The US has established procedure on this.

You'd need a lawyer and a relevant case.

The Supreme Court only makes rulings on constitutional cases as a result of a case occurring and being appealed to them.  You would need to first find a case somewhere in which this issue becomes a relevant legal point.  You would have to argue the point in court, and upon losing the initial case (because generally, lower courts don't like to make far-reaching points of law), you'll appeal it to higher courts.  Although you would definitely be heard in your jurisdiction's relevant appeals court, the Supreme Court has one major barrier to hearing cases: overload.  They get a couple tens of thousands of appeal requests every year, and only have time to hear a couple dozen... so they tend to hear only ones with the most important (not necessarily controversial) constitutional issues.


It's entirely possible to make those types of challenges in the current, clearly spelled out system.  You're worrying about ambiguities in a system you'd know about if you forked over the $300/hour (or at least paid attention during government class).  tongue

Make Eyes Great Again!

The Great Eye is watching you... when there's nothing good on TV...

44 (edited by Xeno 23-Jan-2017 16:00:12)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Zarf wrote:

How the hell are you equating "five minutes late" with "shadow lizard government"?

There are many things that might lead to conclude 'shadow lizard government'.  Can't list them all.  The fact that this is the third transference of power in a row with something funny going is only one matter.   Many matters of concern have been witnessed over the last 8 years; we've seen seemingly unconstitutional stuff going on all the time as well as legislation passed by congress that was so redacted that virtually every second word was read 'classified'. 

It's not simply Trump didn't finish his oath by noon; therefore shadow lizard government. 

It's more like a+b+c ... +x + y + Trump didn't finish his oath by noon; therefore shadow lizard government.

But back to the constitution.  Perhaps the framers were thinking that if future incumbent POTUSes don't complete the quintessentially important and solemn oath of office by the quintessential moment (noon on inauguration day); perhaps they thought that the peaceful transference of power was so quintessential to the survival of the Republic that an automatic implementation of martial law should commence in every case when an incumbent president does not complete the oath properly by noon on inauguration day, and that such martial law should be enacted regardless of the reason the oath was not completed properly on time. 

Perhaps they also thought, however, that in cases when the reason the oath was not taken properly by noon on inauguration day was not determined to be a threat to the survival Republic by the military and that the oath would be completed 'soon' and thus that there was good reason to expect that the office of the President would be executed forthwith, there would be no need to alarm the public of the fact that martial law had been implemented; perhaps the framers thought that it should be at the discretion of the military to publicly declare martial law or not; for this reason, perhaps a shadow lizard government has been purposefully taking advantage of this and has typically orchestrated events on inauguration day to make sure the incumbent POTUSES CAN'T  finish the properly oath by noon on their inauguration days, so that said shadow lizard government could operate under the authority of martial law; perhaps this happened the last 8 years, and will happen the next 4 years too.  Perhaps it's normal operating procedure for said shadow lizard government.  If so, this would explain why America seems to violate its constitution so often.

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Xeno wrote:

Perhaps the framers were thinking that if future incumbent POTUSes don't complete the quintessentially important and solemn oath of office by the quintessential moment (noon on inauguration day);

Completing the oath before noon actually seems to be less proper, from the literature we discussed earlier, than after.  The oath should be taken after assuming office (noon), but before exercising power.

Xeno wrote:

Perhaps they also thought, however, that in cases when the reason the oath was not taken properly by noon on inauguration day was not determined to be a threat to the survival Republic by the military and that the oath would be completed 'soon' and thus that there was good reason to expect that the office of the President would be executed forthwith, there would be no need to alarm the public of the fact that martial law had been implemented; perhaps the framers thought that it should be at the discretion of the military to publicly declare martial law or not; for this reason, perhaps a shadow lizard government has been purposefully taking advantage of this and has typically orchestrated events on inauguration day to make sure the incumbent POTUSES CAN'T  finish the properly oath by noon on their inauguration days, so that said shadow lizard government could operate under the authority of martial law; perhaps this happened the last 8 years, and will happen the next 4 years too.  Perhaps it's normal operating procedure for said shadow lizard government.  If so, this would explain why America seems to violate its constitution so often.

At the time the Constitution was written, they would not be making use of a standing army.  Perhaps they made use of Militia for this purpose?  Perhaps the part about "refreshing the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants" originally read "blood of Tyrannosaurs", and the Lizards changed it to hide their manipulation?

Holding governments accountable is the job of the people, in any country.  Those in power will almost invariably be as unconstitutional as they can be to further their own agenda.  Several governments of major countries have been effectively operating under martial law to prevent the normal checks and balances from getting in the way for several years.

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

The Great Eye wrote:

The point still stands.  The US has established procedure on this.

You'd need a lawyer and a relevant case.

You're missing my point entirely.   I agree with you on this.  You're arguing the same point to me that I'm trying to argue to Xeno via the "ambiguity spiral" example.

My post wasn't literally asking "gee, I wonder how this works", it was demonstrating that in theory you could continue to question the ambiguity of every decision, even decisions that were intended to clear up ambiguity.  You could literally do this forever.

But the courts can't do this forever because as you mention, resources/time aren't infinite and they have to prioritize.  Thus, Xeno's claim that a decision should always be made on "any constitutional ambiguity" isn't a realistic expectation.

The Great Eye wrote:

It's entirely possible to make those types of challenges in the current, clearly spelled out system.  You're worrying about ambiguities in a system

It's the opposite actually: I'm arguing that you can't worry about literally every ambiguity because it's impossible for us ever have 100% consensus on what the founders meant.  We have to accept that some kind of ambiguity is inevitable and the courts simply can't consider every possible instance of misinterpretation.  Expecting otherwise is as futile as trying to get everybody to agree on how the bible should be interpreted.

The Great Eye wrote:

you'd know about if you forked over the $300/hour (or at least paid attention during government class).  tongue

I paid attention in government class just fine, I think you've just been misunderstanding my point.

47 (edited by Xeno 24-Jan-2017 04:42:00)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Bigthroat wrote:

Completing the oath before noon actually seems to be less proper, from the literature we discussed earlier, than after.  The oath should be taken after assuming office (noon), but before exercising power.

I don't care what the literature says on the matter, unless said literature is referring to a supreme court case specifying what the word 'then' means exactly in the 20th amendment. Does 'then' mean 'soon', or 'noon'.  Which one: SOON or NOON?

X(

Maybe the 'people' who write the literature saying its more 'appropriate' for the oath to be completed after 'noon' are lizards of the lizard shadow government?

Bigthroat wrote:

Several governments of major countries have been effectively operating under martial law to prevent the normal checks and balances from getting in the way for several years.

Lizards everywhere?  yikes

WTF!?

/adds layers to tinfoil hat

48 (edited by Xeno 24-Jan-2017 15:48:42)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

I Like Pie wrote:

You're missing my point entirely.   I agree with you on this.  You're arguing the same point to me that I'm trying to argue to Xeno via the "ambiguity spiral" example.

You could cay that there's no point in analyzing the constitution for any ambiguities because any such analysis would lead to an 'ambiguity spiral'; rendering the supreme court redundant; leaving the state / shadow lizard government / anyone in the know to take advantage of constitutional ambiguities into perpetuity.

The question is which constitutional ambiguities should be remedied - those dealing with the most important issues to the Republic should be regarded 'strictly'.  And so the word 'then' in the 20th amendment, I think should be regarded to mean 'noon' rather than 'soon'.

Personally, I think the peaceful transference of power is so central to ensuring the survival of the Republic that any constitutional ambiguities pertaining to the transference of power ought to be clarified according to a 'strict interpretation', and thus martial law would not need to be imposed.

Both the letter and spirit of the constitution seem to me to indicate that the oath of office must be completed properly before noon for the term of the incumbent POTUS to begin at noon. 

The spirit of the law might in stipulating so strictly the time when the term should begin might be due to an example when say an incumbent showed up on time but couldn't complete taking the oath properly because he was too drunk / hungover; perhaps there'd been another case when an incumbent POTUS had been drugged or poisoned, and messed up the words during the oath because the incumbent POTUS's judgement was impaired.  In such a compromised state of mind, an incumbent POTUS wouldn't be able to make the decision to take on the responsibility which the solemn oath of office implied, let alone execute the office of the president with sound judgement; therefore,  think the framers were intentionally strict about the language  of the oath for a reason; that any indication of the incumbent POTUS's judgement being impaired at the time of taking the oath would nullify the legitimacy of his taking the solemn oath.

Likewise, perhaps the framers thought that if the incumbent POTUS can't complete the oath on time (and that is 'before noon' on inauguration day), regardless of the reason (be it merely by the weather or a coup), martial law should be implemented until such time that the incumbent president finishes the oath.

I've been looking into rules of martial law, and wonder if it even has to be declared publicly.  Could a state clandestinely declare martial law?

Martial law is the imposition of the highest-ranking military officer as the military governor or as the head of the government, thus removing all power from the previous executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.[1] It is usually imposed temporarily when the government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively (e.g., maintain order and security, or provide essential services).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial_law

Such martial law should be imposed at noon on inauguration day if the incumbent president, regardless of the reason, does not complete the oath of office PROPERLY by NOON on inauguration day, because not taking the oath properly by noon on inauguration day is an indication that 'the government or civilian authorities have failed to function effectively', or has failed to provided the 'security' necessary for the incumbent POTUS to complete the oath before noon.

To avoid the automatic imposition of martial law due to reasons that do not represent a clear and present threat to the peaceful transference of power (such as the motorcade being rerouted and thus delayed due to weather or protestors or some other other minor security concern) and it becomes clear (or probable) that the incumbent president will not be able to make it to the inauguration ceremony on time to complete the oath at the ceremony BEFORE noon, the incumbent POTUS could take the oath of office enroute to the inauguration ceremony (as long as his doing so is appropriately witnessed) and then redo the oath for sake of purely ceremonial reasons; in this case, due to the oath being completed before arriving at the ceremony, that the oath was completed late during the ceremony would be irrelevant.

49 (edited by Bigthroat 24-Jan-2017 15:38:57)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

ok, text:

Constitution wrote:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—"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.

Before execution.  Not before entering office, but before execution of office.  That seems quite clear...?

50 (edited by Xeno 24-Jan-2017 16:24:12)

Re: Is Trump POTUS or not POTUS?

Bigthroat wrote:

ok, text:

Constitution wrote:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—"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.

Before execution.  Not before entering office, but before execution of office.  That seems quite clear...?

The 20th amendment specifically says that the 'TERM' of the presidency begins 'then', that is when the 'term' of the previous presidency ends, specifically 11:59:59 am on Jan. 20th; therefore the term of the presidency must begin the very moment the previous presidency ends, which is 11:59:59, or 'noon' exactly.  I think the 20th amendment specifically uses the word 'then' to specify the exact time when the 'terms' of the previous and incumbent presidents are to end and begin for good reason: to ensure the peaceful transference of power, something quintessential to the survival of the Republic.

The 'term' of the presidency begins when the incumbent president (having assumed the office of the president by taking the oath of office) so that he can execute that office at noon.  If this doesn't happen, there is a power vacuum, needing to be filled by the implementation (clandestinely or no) of martial law. 

I don't think there is any ambiguity here.  The 20th amendment specifies that the 'the terms of their successors shall then begin'.  This is very clear that the 'term' (including the actual execution of the office) begins when the term of the previous presidency ends; therefore the oath (assumption of the office) must be completed BEFORE noon.

If there is any power vacuum, what's to stop some lizard shadow government type from taking the oath of office under clandestinely imposed martial law?