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thegreat59
05-11-2005, 10:19 AM
My Democratic zealot of a girlfriend believes she has found a loophole to making Bill Clinton presedint again. She believes that if Hilary Clinton runs for president and than appoints Bill Clinton as her running mate if she wins the election and Bill becomes vice president that if Hilary has a "unfortunate happening" Bill will become president once again. I don't think this would ever happen but in the unlikely event that it was planned, would it be legal or even possible?

BobT
05-11-2005, 10:34 AM
I suggest searching the archives for this question. And then be prepared to read and read and read and read and read and read and read.

This question shows up on the board every few months, but more frequently around elections.

The next definitive answer to this question will be the first.

FatBaldGuy
05-11-2005, 10:41 AM
From the 12th amendment to the Constitution:

But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

postcards
05-11-2005, 10:49 AM
Having served two full terms, Bill Clinton is not eligible to be a vice-presidential candidate.

See US Constitution, amendment 12:

"...But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."

(On preview I see the question has been answered, but what the hey...)

brianmelendez
05-11-2005, 10:50 AM
I suggest searching the archives for this question. And then be prepared to read and read and read and read and read and read and read.

This question shows up on the board every few months, but more frequently around elections.

The next definitive answer to this question will be the first.Amen, BobT. Earlier threads that have addressed (and pretty much exhausted) this topic:

Max no of years as President? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=287422)

American President and terms in office (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=284779)

Could Kerry choose Clinton as a running mate (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=243320)

Could Clinton become VP? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=165801)

Otto
05-11-2005, 10:58 AM
[QUOTE=BobT]I suggest searching the archives for this question. And then be prepared to read and read and read and read and read and read and read.QUOTE] He's a guest, he can't search the archives.

vetbridge
05-11-2005, 11:01 AM
I request a cite that Bill Clinton was ever presedint.

BobT
05-11-2005, 12:00 PM
[QUOTE=BobT]I suggest searching the archives for this question. And then be prepared to read and read and read and read and read and read and read.QUOTE] He's a guest, he can't search the archives.
My apologies for not realizing that. I reacted a bit hastily since I've been involved in some rather heated debates on this topic where people got nasty toward me for no good reason.

But I should have provided links to the threads instead of just complaining.

Little Nemo
05-11-2005, 12:07 PM
Surprisingly, nobody ever bothers considering the real legal way that Bill Clinton could become President again. A new constitutional amendment could repeal the 22nd Amendment and eliminate the two-term limit. But I guess this isn't "conspiracy" enough.

tim314
05-11-2005, 12:29 PM
From the 12th amendment to the Constitution:But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
But Bill Clinton isn't inelligible to the office of President, he's only inelligible to be elected President. (22nd Amendment (http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.amendmentxxii.html)) I would think inelligible to the office of President would refer to someone who hadn't been born a U.S. citizen, etc.

However, I am not a scholar of Consitutional law.

monica
05-11-2005, 12:41 PM
But Bill Clinton isn't inelligible to the office of President, he's only inelligible to be elected President. (22nd Amendment (http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.amendmentxxii.html)) I would think inelligible to the office of President would refer to someone who hadn't been born a U.S. citizen, etc.

However, I am not a scholar of Consitutional law.
You're right. I didn't think about it that way. From your link (bolding mine):
Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice
That says nothing about him being elected to the office of Vice President, and nothing about him getting to be president through a non-elected way (i.e., take over from a president).

tim314
05-11-2005, 01:18 PM
At any rate, even if Clinton couldn't become VP, couldn't he still achieve the presidency by becoming Speaker of the House and having both the Prez and VP resign? I mean, it's not going to happen, but neither is the scenario thegreat59 proposed. If Hillary becomes President, I think we can safely assume she's not about to hand it over to Bill. (Even if she wanted him to be running things again, she could just let him make the decisions and avoid the controversy of trying to formally hand over power to him.)

Frank
05-11-2005, 01:30 PM
Surprisingly, nobody ever bothers considering the real legal way that Bill Clinton could become President again. A new constitutional amendment could repeal the 22nd Amendment and eliminate the two-term limit. But I guess this isn't "conspiracy" enough.
Clinton vs Bush in '08! I'd pay money to watch that.

Cliffy
05-11-2005, 01:55 PM
As a perusal of the linked threads will show, the great, there's something of a difference of opinion on this topic. FatBaldGuy and postcards' certainty to the contrary notwithstanding, tim314 presents the argument for. It's an open question.

--Cliffy

E. Thorp
05-11-2005, 05:51 PM
Clinton vs Bush in '08! I'd pay money to watch that.
Do you mean Hillary vs Jeb, Bill vs Jeb, Bill vs W, or Hillary vs W?

(Is it just me, or is it time for some new presidential families?)

CynicalGabe
05-11-2005, 06:32 PM
I request a cite that Bill Clinton was ever presedint.

*sigh* :rolleyes:

Northern Piper
05-11-2005, 06:37 PM
At any rate, even if Clinton couldn't become VP, couldn't he still achieve the presidency by becoming Speaker of the House and having both the Prez and VP resign?Nope. The statutory rules for presidential succession don't trump the eligibility rules set out in the Constitution. See: United States Code, Title 3, Section 19, Sub-section (e) (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode03/usc_sec_03_00000019----000-.html) 19. Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act

(a)
(1) If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President.

(2) The same rule shall apply in the case of the death, resignation, removal from office, or inability of an individual acting as President under this subsection.

(b) If, at the time when under subsection (a) of this section a Speaker is to begin the discharge of the powers and duties of the office of President, there is no Speaker, or the Speaker fails to qualify as Acting President, then the President pro tempore of the Senate shall, upon his resignation as President pro tempore and as Senator, act as President.

...

(e) Subsections (a), (b), and (d) of this section shall apply only to such officers as are eligible to the office of President under the Constitution....So for example, Henry Kissinger and Madelaine Allbright were not in the line of succession when they were Secretary of State, because they were both naturalised Americans, not native-born, as required by Article II, s. 1 of the U.S. Constitution. If Bill is not "eligibile to the office of President" because of the two-term limit, then he can't get there by becoming Speaker.

Frank
05-11-2005, 07:05 PM
Do you mean Hillary vs Jeb, Bill vs Jeb, Bill vs W, or Hillary vs W?

(Is it just me, or is it time for some new presidential families?)
Bill vs W.

Yes! Time to bring back the Roosevelts.

Diceman
05-11-2005, 09:33 PM
CynicalGabe: re-read that sentence very carefully.
;)

treis
05-11-2005, 09:40 PM
Nope. The statutory rules for presidential succession don't trump the eligibility rules set out in the Constitution. See: United States Code, Title 3, Section 19, Sub-section (e) (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode03/usc_sec_03_00000019----000-.html) So for example, Henry Kissinger and Madelaine Allbright were not in the line of succession when they were Secretary of State, because they were both naturalised Americans, not native-born, as required by Article II, s. 1 of the U.S. Constitution. If Bill is not "eligibile to the office of President" because of the two-term limit, then he can't get there by becoming Speaker.

Bill as far as I can tell is still eligible for the office but he is not eligble to be elected to that office.

asterion
05-11-2005, 09:50 PM
Do you mean Hillary vs Jeb, Bill vs Jeb, Bill vs W, or Hillary vs W?

(Is it just me, or is it time for some new presidential families?)

Nah. Chelsea vs. the Twins. (Ignore the fact that none are old enough to run.) And I say that Slick Willy would wipe the floor with Dubya.

asterion
05-11-2005, 09:52 PM
Bill as far as I can tell is still eligible for the office but he is not eligble to be elected to that office.

This is what we call pulling a Ford, correct?

pulykamell
05-11-2005, 09:57 PM
Bill as far as I can tell is still eligible for the office but he is not eligble to be elected to that office.

That's exactly how I read it. At the time of the writing of the 12th Amendment, it seems clear to me that the eligibility of the Vice-President refers to the rules previously laid out in the Constitution, specifically Article II, Section 1, Clause 5:


No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.


Obviously, at that time there were no term limits, and lawmakers not being prophets, they couldn't have forseen the latter-imposed term restrictions. The key phrase is "constitutionally inelegible to the office of the President." I still think, that even with the 22nd Amendment, this does not make Bill Clinton constitutionally ineligible for the office. I still think his elegibility to the office is governed by Article II, Section 1, Clause 5. He simply cannot be elected to the office.

It depends how you read it, but obviously there's a lot of room for interpretation here, as to me it seems clear that Bill Clinton or George Bush are elegible for VP slots based on the Constitution.