The Twenty-Fifth AmendmentIts Complete History and Application

The Twenty-Fifth AmendmentIts Complete History and Application

John D. Feerick

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9780823252008

Publisher: Fordham University Press


This book focuses on the Twenty-Fifth Amendment - its meaning, legislative history, and applications. The Amendment has been criticized as vague and undemocratic. It has been praised for making possible swift and orderly successions to the presidency and vice presidency upon the occurrence of some of the most extraordinary events in American history. The Amendment has been invoked six times since its ratification. In 1973 and 1974, the resignations of the elected President and Vice President challenged the continuity of democratic government of this country. For the first time the succession mechanisms of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment were employed to select two Vice Presidents, one of whom succeeded to the presidency. In 1985, 2002, and 2007, a President underwent surgery and invoked the Amendment to temporarily transfer power to the Vice President. The Amendment has played a decisive role in assuring continuity of government and restoring the public’s confidence in its political system. Its vice presidential selection feature has been recommended as the best method for selecting Vice Presidents. Based on the attention the Amendment has received and the number of presidential and vice presidential vacancies and inabilities throughout history, one can expect that the Twenty-Fifth Amendment will receive frequent application in the future.

Table of Contents

1 The Problems

II The Solution

III Implementations of the Solution

IV Continued Interest and Efforts to Change

V An Evaluation