Under the Dome

When will Pat McCrory take power?

UPDATED: Pat McCrory is the governor-elect. But when will he take office?

The N.C. constitution says the governor's term "shall commence on the first day of January next after their election and continue until their successors are elected and qualified." But traditionally the transfer of power is timed to the Junior League of Raleigh's inauguration festivities. Gov. Bev Perdue took the oath of office Jan. 10, 2008.

This year's inauguration is pegged for Saturday, Jan. 12, a day after the league's inaugural ball. But Bob Orr, a conservative and former N.C. Supreme Court justice, argues McCrory needs to be sworn in sooner.

"I would submit that the Constitution leaves no flexibility and that the new governor," he said. "It simply requires the administration of the oath before the governor can perform any duties. The qualifications are limited to age, residency and having been elected. Thus, on January 1, the new governor should take the oath (perhaps in private) then do the inaugural activities of oath taking, parade, ball etc. whenever."

It's a question McCrory is likely to get this afternoon at his press conference in Raleigh. And he did. But McCrory provided no answers. He said no decisions have been made.


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holding over

Elected officials are free to take the oath at any time after their term begins -- if they don't, the old officer holds over until then (there is a specific provision in the constitution on this).  In fact, if Dan Forest waited until January 12 to take the oath as Lt Governor, Walter Dalton would preside over the January 9th opening day of the General Assembly (this is in fact an old NC tradition -- for a 50 year period or so when the General Assembly convened January 2nd, 3rd, or 4th and the official inauguration was a few days later, the old Lt Governor presided as President over the opening and first day or two of the General Assembly) Forest is free to take his oath at any time after 12:01 am on the 1st of January 

Great Idea!

Public oath, please! 1/1/2013. Minus the acorn.

Why risk mischief? 

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