“I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear 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.”
President Obama twice pronounced those words. On the first occasion, Chief Justice Roberts erred slightly in the wording. So mindful was Obama of the importance of complying with the letter of the law that he arranged for Roberts to administer the oath again the following day. The second time, both spoke the words verbatim.
Process matters. The law matters. Obama knows this. He has repeatedly explained to impatient illegal immigrants that he cannot waive deportation for an entire category of people with the stroke of a pen. “I’m not the emperor of the United States,” he said in early 2013. “My job is to execute laws that are passed. And Congress right now has not changed what I consider to be a broken immigration system. And what that means is that we have certain obligations to enforce the laws that are in place even if we think that in many cases the results may be tragic.”
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