Defending the Constitution
The Constitution requires all federal and state legislative, executive and judicial officers to take an oath. This includes members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle. John Marshall famously used the judicial oath as one of the steps in his argument for judicial review in Marbury v. Madison.
Everyone in the federal and state legislatures, executive branchs, and judiciary must take an oath to support the Constitution. That includes Democratic members of Congress and federal and state judges as well, even the ones who worry about the limits of executive power. Perhaps the special oath prescribed for the President is designed to remind the President of his or her responsibility not to overstep the office’s constitutional authority, in recognition of the severe temptations to do so, especially during times of war.
Plenary executive power arguments tend to push the theoretical limits on presidential power as far outward as far as any particular administration wants to push them; the categories of “constitutionally permitted action” and “presidentially desired action” tend to meld. I would hope that members of the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive braches would take their constitutional oath seriously and worry about this kind of expansion.
Quite right. Indeed, I took essentially the same oath as a second lieutenant.