Presidential succession?

Under what circumstances does the Secretary of Defense "out rank" the Vice President of the United States when the

VP becomes Acting President under the 25th Amendment? The Attorney General of the United States resolves any disputes, but what documentation assures that the AG's decision is constitutional?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    25th Amendment to the Constitution (1967)

    Passed by Congress July 6, 1965.

    Ratified February 10, 1967.

    Replaced part of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution, originally written in 1783.

    Section 1.

    In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

    Section 2.

    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.

    Section 3.

    Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

    Section 4.

    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, transmits 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.

  • 1 decade ago

    My reading of the 25th says that the VP takes over, the AG doesn't resolve anything, and the Sec of Def reports to the Acting Prez. The West Wing TV Show notwithstanding.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Never. the Secretary of Defense is sixth in line. He or she would never outrank the VP.

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