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The Twenty-Fifth AmendmentIts Complete History and Application$
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John D. Feerick

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823252008

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823252008.001.0001

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The Uses and Non-Uses of Section 3

The Uses and Non-Uses of Section 3

(p.190) 13 The Uses and Non-Uses of Section 3
The Twenty-Fifth Amendment

John D. Feerick

Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses the explicit and implicit invocations of Section 3 of the Amendment. President Ronald Reagan never explicitly invoked the Amendment but temporarily transferred power to the Vice President twice during his presidency, once after he was shot by an assassin in 1981 and once when he underwent cancer surgery in 1985. President George H. W. Bush nearly invoked Section 3 on two occasions: the first occurred on May 4, 1991, when Bush was hospitalized because of an irregular heartbeat, the second was eight months later, while on an overseas trip in Japan, Bush was stricken by an intestinal virus and collapsed at a state dinner. On June 29, 2002, Section 3 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment was formally used for the first time by President George W. Bush when he transferred power to Vice President Dick Cheney while he was anesthetized during the course of a colonoscopy. Contingency planning appears to have been a subject of great importance to Vice President Cheney who was aware of his own long history of coronary artery disease, he decided to write a letter of resignation as Vice President shortly after he was sworn in, to be effective upon its delivery to the Secretary of State.

Keywords:   Resignation, surgery, colonoscopy, assassination, inability

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