Dean Emeritus and Norris Professor of Law John D. Feerick ’61, an architect of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, wrote an op-ed for New York Daily News explaining the amendment and how to invoke it.
It took 180 years until the Constitution’s 25th Amendment responded to a question asked at the Constitutional Convention of 1787: “What is meant by the term disability and who shall be the judge of it?” Now, following the attack on the Capitol by President Trump’s supporters, there is growing pressure on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the amendment’s inability provisions to remove Trump from the discharge of the powers and duties of the presidency.
It is important to understand the succession provisions of the amendment, which are contained in two sections. Sections 3 and 4 of the amendment provide for the vice president to serve as acting president when the president is incapable of discharging the office’s responsibilities. Neither provision removes the president from office, as would happen following conviction by the Senate in an impeachment trial.
Over the course of the presidency of Donald Trump, the issue of inability has been raised time and again, as at the present time. With 13 days to go in his presidency, is it still ripe to invoke the amendment?
Read more from Dean Feerick on the 25th Amendment: