The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Complete History and Applications

The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Complete History and Applications

The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Complete History and Applications

The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Complete History and Applications

Synopsis

Undisputed as the most important synthetic work on the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, this revised edition provides the latest in legal thought regarding presidential succession. This new edition of The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Complete History and Applications updates John Feerick's landmark study with the Amendment's uses in the past twenty years and how those uses (along with new legal scholarship) have changed the Amendment and perceptions of presidential disability in general. In itsformulation, the Twenty-fifth Amendment was criticized as vague and undemocratic, but it has made possible swift and orderly successions to the highest offices in the U.S. government during some of the most extraordinary events in American history. The extent of its authority has been tested over the years: During the Watergate crisis, it was proposed that the Amendment might afford a means by which a president could transfer presidential power during an impeachment proceeding, and it was also suggested that the Amendment could authorize a vice president and cabinet to suspend a president during a Senate impeachment trial. Where once presidential disability was stigmatized, today a president under general anesthesia cedes presidential authority for the length of the procedure with little controversy. The Twenty-fifth Amendment is evolving rapidly, and this book is an invaluable guide for legal scholars, government decision makers, historians, political scientists, teachers, and students studying the nation's highest offices.

Excerpt

The publication of the third edition of a book may attest to a degree of commercial success but is otherwise generally not a significant event. That usual rule does not apply to this new edition of John D. Feerick’s work The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Complete History and Application. Originally published in 1976 and reissued in 1992 with a lengthy new Introduction to cover subsequent developments, The TwentyFifth Amendmenttakes its significance in part from the constitutional amendment it discusses and from which it takes its name. The Amendment, which was ratified in 1967, addressed a range of problems dealing with presidential succession following presidential death, resignation, removal, and inability and provided procedures for filling a vice-presidential vacancy and for handling situations of presidential inability. Many of the problems the Amendment addressed had proved vexing ever since some were first raised at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia more than two centuries ago. Prior to 1967, they had resisted any solution, although reform efforts had been made.

These problems relating to presidential continuity, of course, present themselves episodically, rather than routinely. Yet the centrality of presidential leadership, to America and the world, mandates that reliable arrangements exist to ensure presidential continuity, particularly given America’s international role in a nuclear and information age. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution provided such procedures to address those perils which history suggested presented the greatest jeopardy.

Section 1 of the Amendment confirmed the actions followed by Vice President John Tyler and seven successors. It established that a Vice President became, rather than simply acted as, President upon the occurrence of an event that permanently . . .

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