U.S. Flag

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

Learn more about the history of the Senate's oath of office.

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

Senator Resigns to Protest Loyalty Oath, January 29, 1864

Oath Taking

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

Taking the Oath in Hospital

Class of 1863: Should New Senators be Required to Take the "Ironclad Test Oath"?

Oath Reenactment Ceremony

Before Taking the Oath

Related Items

Interested in related materials? Take a look at these Virtual Reference Desk subjects for more information.