DAR commemorates 25th Amendment to Constitution

Chief Senachwine Chapter, NSDAR is pleased to celebrate the passing of the 25h Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on July 6, 1965.

It reads, in part, “In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.”

Passed by Congress 56 years ago, the 25th Amendment resolved some of the continuing issues about the office of the president, especially what happens upon the death, removal or resignation of the president. Also, it solidified the protocol for removing the president if he or she became disabled to such a degree that the person cannot fulfill responsibilities of the office.

Since the founding of our county, the vice president has assumed the presidential office upon the death of a president. However, whether the vice president would become acting president when the president became unable to carry on - and whether the president could resume the office upon recovering his or her ability - were two questions that had divided scholars and experts.

Also, seven vice presidents died in office and one resigned, leaving periods of time when there has been no vice president.

But the seemingly most insoluble problem was that of presidential inability. President Garfield lay in a coma for 80 days before succumbing to the effects of an assassin’s bullet. President Wilson an invalid for the last 18 months of his term as the result of a stroke.

Before the passing of the 25th amendment, there were still unanswered questions: Who had the authority to determine the existence of an inability? How would succession be handled if the president sought to continue? Would the vice president be considered an acting president or president to end of term? And would happen if the President recovered?

Congress finally sought to address these issues when it proposed the 25th Amendment in the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution urges Americans to reflect on the U.S. Constitution. It is the oldest constitution still in active use in the world today; yet it is a living document. The commitment of the NSDAR is to encourage study and educate the public about the Constitution.

When was the 25th Amendment first used?

The 25th Amendment addresses vacancies for the office of vice president in addition to that of the president.

The first use of the 25th Amendment occurred in 1973 when President Richard Nixon nominated Congressman Gerald Ford to fill the vacancy left by Vice President Spiro Agnew’s resignation.

In less than a year, the 25th Amendment was used again -- this time when Vice President Ford became president after Richard Nixon resigned. Ford then nominated Nelson Rockefeller to fill the vice presidential vacancy.

This announcement was provided by the Chief Senachwine Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.