Missouri House members had to re-take the oath of office today because of an error during the swearing in ceremony last week.
When lawmakers originally took the oath, as administered by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Rick Teitelman on Wednesday, they incorrectly pledged to support the “government” rather than the “Constitution.”
House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith, R-Salem, administered the oath today.
“It’s unfortunate that the oath of office we were asked to swear was misstated. Members were asked to pledge their support to government rather than to the Constitution that outlines and protects the sacred rights of the people,” Smith said in a statement. “To my knowledge, this has not happened in the history of the legislature, although our president had to retake his oath in 2009 after a mistake by the chief justice. As conservatives who believe in limiting the size and influence of government and not in pledging oaths to support it, we felt it was important that we retake the oath.”
According to state Rep. Mark Parkinson, R-St. Charles, constituents raised concerns about the error so legislators took the oath again today.
Despite the error made in its reading, Smith said members signed the correct version of the oath.
Missouri’s statewide officials will be sworn in during an inaugural ceremony at 11:15 today. The event, held on the south steps of the state Capitol, will be broadcast online at www.mo.gov.