Gaming the 25th Amendment

There has been much talk of the 25th Amendment recently: short of actual impeachment, it seems to many to be the easiest way to rid ourselves of the national embarrassment.  I myself think it’s a solution that the national embarrassment will embrace, and here’s why.

First, the pertinent document, Section 4 of Amendment 25:

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 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 by 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 the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-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 in 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.

tl;dr: Mike Pence pulls together a majority vote in the Cabinet that the current occupant is unfit, and they write a letter to both houses of Congress saying so.  Poof! Mike Pence is Acting President.

Here’s the interesting part: Pence does not become actual President.  The actual President is merely sidelined, where he can tweet that uhuh he is too fit for the rest of his days.  Technically he can write a letter to both houses of Congress that he’s feeling much better, and then they vote on it.  I figure the Senate’s good for two-thirds of those votes; the House is where the balance lies, and I don’t trust them not to reinstall the man.

But let’s assume that they see their duty to this nation clear and vote that he’s still nutso.  This should make him very happy, because now he’s got tons of enemies to insult and bluster and blame.  He can keep writing those letters for the next 42 months, and Congress can keep voting him out, and he makes the cable shows explode and he’s good.

And we’re rid of him.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *