Understanding the Constitution – 25th Amendment

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Consitution of the United States and Feather QuillPassed by Congress: July 6, 1965

Ratified: February 10, 1967

25th Amendment

Section 1: In case of the removal or the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

This is self explanatory.

Section 2: Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Again, self explanatory.

Section 3: Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

This section simply states that if the President tells the Senate and House of Representatives, in writing, that he cannot perform his duties, the Vice President becomes Acting President.

Section 4: Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may bay law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge that powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within fourty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

This states that the if the Vice President and a majority of the President’s cabinet states in writing that the President in unable to perform his duties the Vice President will assume the duties as Acting President.  The second paragraph of Section 4 simply says that after the Vice President assumes the duties as Acting President the President can transmit in writing to Congress that he is able to assume the duties of the office then he re-assume the duties of President.

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