Johnson had been the Vice President for Abraham Lincoln. Wikibuy Review: A Free Tool That Saves You Time and Money, 15 Creative Ways to Save Money That Actually Work. Bush was president for just eight hours while President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery. The question was finally resolved by Section 1 of the 25th Amendment which specifies that: "In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President." Even at events when all would normally be present, at least one person is taken offsite to a secure location. The presidential line succession refers to the manner in which various federal government officials assume the office of President of the United States leaves office before an elected successor is inaugurated. In the event of a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack, it is possible that everyone on the list would be killed or incapacitated. The Senate shall chuse their other officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States. exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Nonetheless, Tyler adhered to his position, even returning unopened mail addressed to the "Acting President of the United States" sent by his detractors. Jeff Sessions currently serves in that role. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. The office of Secretary of the Navy, which had existed as a Cabinet-level position since 1798, had become subordinate to the Secretary of Defense in the military reorganization, and so was dropped from the line of succession in the 1947 Succession Act. The secretary of the treasury is the fifth in line for the presidency. The framers of the Constitution provided the solution for the what-if scenario in Article 2, Section 1, establishing a line of succession that has been triggered just nine times in history. In view of the current international turmoil, President Woodrow Wilson thought that if he lost the election it would be better for his opponent to begin his administration straight away, instead of waiting through the lame duck period, which at that time had a duration of almost four months. One of President Harry Truman's rationales for changing the order of succession was to block a president from being able to handpick his or her own successor, which they could do with the appointment of any cabinet position. This posed a conflict of interest, as Wade's own vote on removal could have helped to determine whether he would succeed to the presidency. Several constitutional law experts have raised questions as to the constitutionality of the provisions that the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate succeed to the presidency. This page was last changed on 29 September 2020, at 20:45. With more mail-in ballots, officials urge patience on election night, Americans and the right to vote: Why it's not easy for everyone, Why some mail-in ballots are rejected and how to make sure your vote counts. § 19(e)). Members of Congress and of the president's cabinet are also in the line of succession, but are only eligible for the job if they meet the requirements for the presidency, which stipulate that a person must be at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years. ", Wikisource:Presidential Succession Act 1947, "Presidential Line of Succession Examined", "WI Presidential Succession Act of 1947 held unconstitutional", Fools, Drunkards, & Presidential Succession, The Presidency: Preserving Our Institutions, Candidates with at least one electoral vote, United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, https://infogalactic.com/w/index.php?title=United_States_presidential_line_of_succession&oldid=724682511, Articles that may contain original research from March 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2009, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2015, Continuity of government in the United States, All articles that may contain original research, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2008, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, About Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core. In this case, that person would be skipped and the next eligible person in the line would become President. The Amendment does not specify whether officers other than the Vice President can become President rather than Acting President in the same set of circumstances. Vice President Mike Pence is currently first in line. 2020 Election Live Updates: Over 90 million have already voted, Sean Connery, legendary James Bond actor, has died, Live Updates: U.K. imposes new 4-week lockdown, SEAL Team 6 rescues U.S. citizen Philip Walton in Nigeria, Unrest erupts over police killing of 21-year-old Black man, Scientists capture two murder hornet queens after destroying nest, Guns from U.S. gun stores keep ending up in British criminals' hands, "America's oldest candy company" still uses recipes from 1800s, Battleground Tracker: Latest polls, state of the race and more, 5 things to know about CBS News' 2020 Battleground Tracker, CBS News coverage of voting rights issues. . The presidential line of succession is a list of people who are legally able to take over the position of President of the United States in the event that the president is incapacitated, killed, impeached and has to leave office, or otherwise unable to perform. The U.S. Presidential line of succession outlines who may become or act as President in the case of any eventuality that prevents the current President from carrying on. Congress replaced the President pro tempore and Speaker with officers of the President's Cabinet with the Secretary of State first in line. In 1868 Johnson was impeached, and if he had been removed from office, President pro tempore Benjamin Wade would have become acting President. But what would happen in the event of a catastrophe that left everyone in the line of succession dead? Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution establishes that if the sitting president is removed from office upon death, resignation, or the inability to serve, the vice president would assume the role of president. Although the line of succession falls to 18 people, it has only ever extended as far as the vice president, who is first in line to succeed the president. Albert again became first-in-line during the first four months of Ford's presidency, before the confirmation of Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Historically, the Senate has elected the most senior member of the majority party as president pro tempore of the Senate, who is charged with presiding over the legislative body in the absence of the vice president. On March 4, 1849, President Zachary Taylor's term began, but he declined to be sworn in on a Sunday, citing religious beliefs, and the vice president was not sworn either. Elaine Chao currently serves in that role, but because she is not a natural-born citizen, she is not eligible to serve as president. Because of Lincoln's assassination, there was no Vice President at the time. Until 1971, the Postmaster General, the head of the Post Office Department, was a member of the Cabinet, initially the last in the presidential line of succession before new officers were added.
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