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What is the 25th Amendment?

Hank Hayes • Sep 10, 2018 at 1:07 PM

The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is getting lots of discussion these days by national news outlets and among political analysts.

It deals with the removal or replacement of the president and a vacancy in the vice president’s office.

Section One says that in case of the removal of the president from office or the president’s death or resignation, the vice president shall become president.

Section Two says that if the vice president’s office is vacant, the president shall nominate a vice president who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote in the U.S. House and Senate.

Section Three says that whenever the president transmits to the president pro tempore of the Senate and the House speaker his written declaration that he is unable to perform the duties of his office, such powers shall be discharged by the vice president as acting president.

Section Four says that whenever the vice president and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or “such other body as Congress may by law provide” transmits to the president pro tempore of the Senate and House speaker their written declaration that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the vice president shall immediately assume the powers and duties as acting president.

If the president declares that no inability exists, the president can resume his job. But if the vice president and other parties again submit a written declaration that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, Congress shall decide the issue. Within 21 days, Congress would need a two-thirds vote of both houses that the president is unable to do his job and the vice president would take over. Otherwise, the president would resume his duties.

The 25th Amendment was ratified Feb. 10, 1967.

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