POTUS Succession


All vice presidents have met qualifications to be POTUS, at least age 35, natural born citizens etc…

Ditto on the Speaker of the House and President pro Tempore of the Senate , although I don’t know for sure.

But I know of at least two Secretary of State that are not “natural born citizens.”
(Kissinger and Albright). There are probably others.

Since the vice president is a “heartbeat” from the presidency, I assume that they would have to be meet the same qualications as the POTUS. But what abut the Speaker of the House and President pro Tempore. Do they have to have presidential qualifications?

The Vice President has to have presidential qualifications, but no one below him in the line of secession does. If it should so happen that someone who isn’t qualified is next in the line of secession, he or she would be skipped over for the next person on the list.

It’s funny, I was just pondering the line of succession, and I discovered that the only shot the Speaker of the House has on actually becoming the president is if the President and VP both die at the same time. Gerald Ford appointed his VP, and LBJ just went without until he was elected in `64. Somewhere in the back of my head I knew that, but until I wiki’d it just before seeing this post, I figured everyone just moved up one chair when a president died or was removed from office.

Now, now. Be reasonable. Nobody has to die!

The Speaker can also become President if there’s a vacancy in the VP slot (death, resignation, removal) and the President resigns or is removed, or is incapacitated under the terms of the 25th Amendment.

That’s true. Could have happened in `63-64, or in 1973 between Agnew and Ford.

Okay, end hijack. :slight_smile:

Where is this defined/documented/stated? Or do we take it for granted because the President must blah, blah, blah?

The twelfth amendment to the Constitution includes this clause, “But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

Johnson didn’t just arbitrarily decide not to appoint a Vice President. The 25th Amendment, which would have allowed for this, was not enacted until 1967.

In the new Battlestar Galactica, many, many people died, and the person who ended up being president had the title Secretary of Education (or something like that). During her term as president, people against her would degrade her post by saying things like, “We put a SCHOOLTEACHER as president?”

The President must meet certain qualifications. There are no exceptions to that rule. They are listed in Article II, Section 1.

A person who otherwise would be eligible to become President by succession would not be able to become President, since they would not be able to meet the requirements of that part of the Constitution.

I cannot recall if the part of the US Code that sets forth the order of succession specifically states what happens if people in the line are ineligible for the office.

It does. 3 USC § 19(e) provides that the law concerning succession applies “only to such officers as are eligible to the office of President under the Constitution.”

In the current Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. § 19). Note the repeat phrase “fail to qualify” and its variations.

<sigh> My younger daughters (4 of them, adopted from China) are going to be quite disappointed. They were each planning to become Speaker of the House and then hope that the P & VP would resign.

Maybe they’ll have to start a Constitutional Amendment movement.

Or with President Bartlett. :wink: