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Old 12-21-2019, 04:31 PM
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Inauguration question.


What if a President Elect has a change in mind and does not go to his inauguration. Suppose he sends a notarized letter saying "Nope, not interested.". What happens then?
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Old 12-21-2019, 05:13 PM
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Well, there's no precedent for such a thing - the closest is when General Sherman famously said he would not run and if elected, would not serve.

The most likely realistic answer if such a crazy thing happens is the simple result that he is treated as having resigned, and the vice president-elect becomes President, then nominates a new Vice President for the approval of the Senate.
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Old 12-21-2019, 05:23 PM
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Is he only not interested in the ceremony, or not interested in being president, period?

The oath of office can be administered anywhere, doesn't have to be in public. And the ceremony is just that, for show. He can be president without it, just like you don't need a wedding to be married.
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Old 12-21-2019, 05:42 PM
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Is he only not interested in the ceremony, or not interested in being president,
He has no interest in being president.
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Old 12-21-2019, 06:27 PM
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The 25th amendment would come into play and the VP-elect would take over.
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Old 12-21-2019, 06:33 PM
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The 25th amendment would come into play and the VP-elect would take over.
There might be a catch-22 in that 25th.
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Old 12-21-2019, 06:46 PM
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He has no interest in being president.
Then he would resign and the Vice President would become President.

If he was ambiguous about his intent by saying things like he's "not interested" somebody would press the question and make him state whether or not he was going to serve.
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Old 12-21-2019, 07:25 PM
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There might be a catch-22 in that 25th.
Not that I can see. As of noon on Inauguration Day the US has a new President and Vice-President, whether the oaths of office are administered. If the President resigns or is considered to have resigned, then the VP is president. If the President refuses to resign then the VP can assemble the cabinet if they haven't resigned yet or any body the congress designates if they have and remove the President.
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Old 12-21-2019, 07:38 PM
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Not that I can see. As of noon on Inauguration Day the US has a new President and Vice-President, whether the oaths of office are administered. If the President resigns or is considered to have resigned, then the VP is president. If the President refuses to resign then the VP can assemble the cabinet if they haven't resigned yet or any body the congress designates if they have and remove the President.
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he were sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to, but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:30 PM
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There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he were sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to, but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
However, there's no Catch-22 in the scenario in question so what's the point of bringing it up?
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Old 12-21-2019, 11:33 PM
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However, there's no Catch-22 in the scenario in question so what's the point of bringing it up?
There would be one interesting scenario. Suppose a President elect decided the office of the President was meaningless and he didn't want to serve or even deign to resign - and this happened before he had selected his cabinet choices.

On Inauguration Day, they would swear in the Vice President elect as Vice President. But he wouldn't have a cabinet to convene to invoke the 25th Amendment. Would the Vice President by himself constitute a default cabinet of one? Or is a quorum necessary?

It's not a complete roadblock. The Constitution allows Congress to establish some other body to invoke the 25th Amendment.
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:14 AM
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Don't the Cabinet ministers of the previous administration stay on until their replacements have been confirmed?

That happened when John Adams was sworn in.
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Old 12-22-2019, 02:06 AM
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In the recent transitions, most/all cabinet secretaries left on January 20th, and their duties were performed by deputies until a new secretary was confirmed.

I think one stays on until the evening as a designated survivor for the inauguration ceremony, but unless the new president wants to keep someone on a long-term basis (like Robert Gates in 2009) they go immediately.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 12-22-2019 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 11:20 PM
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A new president is sworn in when their predecessor has left office by death or removal. When a prez dies, the veep doesn't wait till Inauguration Day for a swearing-in by a SCOTUS justice. Coolidge, visiting home, was dragged from bed at 2am and administered the oath by his father, a notary.

Let's say the old prez and new veep-elect show up on 20 January but the prez-elect doesn't and won't even resign. Busy golfing or something. The old prez and veep's terms expire at noon then but now there's no elected replacement to swear in. The Speaker of the House is next in line of succession. That could get interesting.
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Old 12-23-2019, 11:47 PM
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I'm going to guess that the Supreme Court....much like a ref or umpire does when presented with a weird situation....would take it upon themselves to resolve any nutty situations we can think of. Maybe the Speaker would even ask the SC to do so.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:39 AM
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I'm going to guess that the Supreme Court....much like a ref or umpire does when presented with a weird situation....would take it upon themselves to resolve any nutty situations we can think of. Maybe the Speaker would even ask the SC to do so.
The Constitution forbids the Supreme Court from taking cases upon themselves. Someone with standing would have to sue in a lower court first.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 12-24-2019 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 12-24-2019, 06:47 AM
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Let's say the old prez and new veep-elect show up on 20 January but the prez-elect doesn't and won't even resign. Busy golfing or something. The old prez and veep's terms expire at noon then but now there's no elected replacement to swear in.
The president elect becomes the president at noon, whether the oath is given or not. They have to take the oath before executing the powers of the office but they are automatically the president at noon.

Last edited by Telemark; 12-24-2019 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Mnemnosyne View Post

The most likely realistic answer if such a crazy thing happens is the simple result that he is treated as having resigned, and the vice president-elect becomes President, then nominates a new Vice President for the approval of the Senate.
I agree that the vice president elect would take office and would nominate a new vice president, but both Houses have to ratify:
Quote:
Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:07 PM
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a few people say this guy was president for 1 day since Zachary Taylor did not want to take his oath of office on a Sunday. Most historians don't accept that idea.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rice_Atchison

His grave marker says he was president for 1 day
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Old 12-26-2019, 08:43 PM
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a few people say this guy was president for 1 day since Zachary Taylor did not want to take his oath of office on a Sunday. Most historians don't accept that idea.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rice_Atchison

His grave marker says he was president for 1 day
I think Marilyn vos Savant thinks this as well. I for one am in the "not President" camp.

If you don't have to take the oath to be President, then Taylor was President when his term started.
If you do, then Atchison, who never took it, was never President.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:02 AM
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The Constitution forbids the Supreme Court from taking cases upon themselves. Someone with standing would have to sue in a lower court first.
That's not completely true. There are situations where the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction.

So if we could get the Canadian Ambassador to say he's unable to present his credentials because there's no President to give his letter of credence to, then the Supreme Court could step in and issue a ruling.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:13 AM
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