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Inauguration Trivia

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Inauguration Trivia"

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Via Robert Farley, it seems John Quincy Adams didn’t get sworn-in on a Bible:

John Quincy Adams, according to his own letters, placed his hand on a constitutional law volume rather than a Bible to indicate where his fealty lay.

Interesting. The symbolism of the oath-on-bible is interesting. In some respects, you can take it as symbolizing the fact that even though in our system “no one is above the law,” including the president, in practice it’s actually extremely difficult to fully hold the chief executive to that standard. We’re putting our faith in the idea that the person occupying that office to be guided by the higher law, God’s law. It makes a certain amount of sense but I can’t help but feel that the faith is often misplaced.

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