In 1999, ten years after the fact, author and professor Matthew Pauley decided to take Professor Burton Caine of Temple University to task for having admonished President George H. W. Bush in a letter Caine had sent to the editor of The New York Times. Professor Caine's letter was published under the title, Bush Took Unconstitutional Oath of Office (please read full article).
In Pauley's book I Do Solemnly Swear: The President's Constitutional Oath: Its Meaning and Importance in the History of Oaths (January 1999) in footnote 8 starting on page 246 the author offers this commentary on Burton Caine's letter:
In a letter to the New York Times (letter: Jan. 20, 1989; published: Feb. 5, 1989), Burton Caine, a Professor of Law at Temple University, sharply criticized George Bush's taking of the presidential oath: "Although President Bush swore to preserve the Constitution, he did not obey its precise command in taking the oath of office." Caine then quotes the oath and observes, quite correctly, that this "is the only place in the Constitution where quotation marks are used." The framers obviously intended, Caine goes on, that the President should "use the exact words, no more, no less." But George Bush added "So help me God," and Caine asserts that this is "unconstitutional." "The authors of Article II understood that an oath traditionally could refer to a deity and, by providing the precise language and omitting such reference, clearly intended such words should not be said. I would implore our President not to take liberties with the Constitution, especially in the sensitive area of the separation of church and state. In a country with a population as diverse as ours, a President who wants to represent all the people must include deists and nondeists. The neutrality course prescribed by the Constitution is not only the law,[pg. 247]but it is also the best policy." Perhaps Professor Caine is unaware of the fact that George Washington, Father of our Country, added the words "So help me God," when he first took the oath.What's most remarkable about Professor Pauley is that he was so presumptive as to think that the inaugural setting in which Washington is seen as having added "So help me God" to his oath of office is an actual fact. To go ahead and then suppose that an unsubstantiated "fact" of this kind overrules the Constitution is rather incomprensible.