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January 4, 2011

House Speaker's aides to be formally sworn in -- Meaningless symbolism or a serious commitment to the Constitution?

Politico reports January 3 that incoming House Speaker John Boehner has made an unusual request of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts:
In another statement of the new House Republican majority’s commitment to the Constitution, aides to incoming Speaker John Boehner plan to take their oath of office Tuesday morning — a day before the same oath is administered to the 435 House members of the new Congress.

At Boehner’s request, Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the staff ceremony, which may be a first in congressional history. Aides in Boehner’s Washington and district offices are expected to take the oath in the Capitol in a private, low-key event with no press coverage, a Boehner aide said.
[...] In a sense, the ceremony will be symbolic. House aides already commit to supporting the Constitution when they sign their employment forms. But the formal event will be another measure that Boehner takes seriously his new responsibility.
Dare we hope? Forgive our cynicism (borne of a long history of disappointments), but we'll withhold our applause until we see such gestures followed up with genuine substance.  Onward!

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