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Roberts, Obama to hold swearing-in twice

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Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will administer the oath of office to President Obama twice again this year, although hopefully it will be smoother than their “do-over” four years ago.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Friday that Justice Roberts will administer the oath to Mr. Obama on Sunday, Jan. 20, and again on Monday, Jan. 21. The official event on Jan. 20 is mandated by the Constitution but will be held in private because it falls on a Sunday, when courts and other public institutions are closed. They will repeat the ceremony before the nation at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21.

Four years ago, Justice Roberts got the wording of the oath incorrect by putting the word “faithfully” in the wrong sequence, leading to an awkward and halting recitation by Mr. Obama. The following day, they repeated the oath-taking at the White House to help dispel any notion that Mr. Obama was not legally president.

“I will be honored to again stand on the Inaugural platform and take part in this important American tradition,” said Mr. Obama. “I look forward to having Chief Justice John Roberts administer my oath of office as we gather to celebrate not just a president or vice president, but the strength and determination of the American people.”

The inaugural committee said Justice Sonia Sotomayor will administer the oath of office to Vice President Joseph R. Biden, also on both days.

Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only other president to take the oath of office four times, at the beginning of each of his four terms from 1933 to 1945.

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About the Author
Dave Boyer

Dave Boyer

Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at

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