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Is the Presidential Succession Law Constitutional?

Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar
Stanford Law Review
Vol. 48, No. 1 (Nov., 1995), pp. 113-139
Published by: Stanford Law Review
DOI: 10.2307/1229151
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1229151
Page Count: 27
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Is the Presidential Succession Law Constitutional?
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Abstract

In this essay, Akhil and Vikram Amar attack the constitutionality of the current presidential succession statute, which places the Speaker of the House and the Senate President pro tempore first and second in line, respectively, if there is neither a President nor a Vice President. Relying on the words of the Framers, the text and logic of the Constitution, and various practical and ethical concerns, the Amars conclude that federal legislators are not "Officers" under the Succession Clause and thus ineligible for the line of succession. Finally, the Amars suggest that an updated succession statute should provide for a prompt national election after succession, and should iron out various other wrinkles in the current succession statute.

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