Is it a requirement of holding congressional office that one must swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States?



The law regarding, and the wording of, the oath is given in 5 U.S. Code § 3331. It is also not limited to just Congress:

An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath: “I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” This section does not affect other oaths required by law.

(emphasis mine)

As an aside, the President is exempted in the law above, because that oath is specifically prescribed in Act II, Section 1 of the Constitution:

Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

(emphasis mine)

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    To preempt later followup questions: It's worth noting the reason the President is exempted here is because his oath is specified in the Constitution, so there is no need to add this on top of it. It is not because the President is not sworn to uphold the Constitution. – Bobson Feb 12 '19 at 21:43
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    @Bobson Feel free to add that in, or I will when I get a chance to. – Geobits Feb 12 '19 at 23:31
  • @Bobson and since its specified in the Constitution, Congress actually cannot add more requirements for becoming a President. – JonathanReez Feb 13 '19 at 1:43
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    See also U.S. Constitution, Art. VI, Clause 3: "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members fo the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both fo the United States and the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution, but no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." (irregular capitalization in the original). – ohwilleke Feb 15 '19 at 23:26
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    The "So help me God" clause of the statute is unconstitutional by the way. – ohwilleke Feb 15 '19 at 23:27

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