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Oath of Office

Upon taking office, senators-elect must swear or affirm that they will "support and defend the Constitution." The president of the Senate or a surrogate administers the oath to newly elected or re-elected senators. The oath is required by the Constitution; the wording is prescribed by law.

Text of the Senate's Oath

Essays on the Oath of Office

The Senate's First Act--the Oath Act, May 5, 1789

Senator Resigns to Protest Loyalty Oath, January 29, 1864

Taking the Oath

Term of a Senator:  When Does It Begin and End?   (PDF)

Taking the Oath in Hospital

The Civil War: The Senate's Story- The "Ironclad Test Oath"

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History | Traditions