Yesterday, Just Security and the Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law hosted Benjamin Wittes for a conversation on a question he and I have posed about path of the Trump presidency so far: what happens when we can’t take the president’s oath of office seriously?
Ben’s talk focused on an essay he and I posted to Lawfare simultaneously with the speech, in which we argued that the presidential oath—little discussed though it may be in constitutional jurisprudence and academic literature—is actually the glue that holds together many of our assumptions about how government functions. And when large enough numbers of people come to doubt the sincerity of the president’s oath, those assumptions begin to crumble.
Big thanks to Ryan Goodman of Just Security and Zachary Goldman of the Center on Law and Security for putting together this event. Make sure to also read Ryan’s Just Security followup post on his discussion with Ben and the questions raised by our essay.