Presidential Disability: A Quick Summary
Whenever the President is ill, people understandably wonder how our system decides when the Vice-President needs to take over. Article II of the Constitution contemplated this, but without giving much by way of details:
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
But the Twenty-Fifth Amendment (proposed in 1965 and adopted in 1967) provides a more specific rule, not by defining “inability” (or “disability”), but by indicating which institutions make that decision.
[1.] First (section 3), the President can officially announce his inability (for instance, when he recognizes that he is very sick, or is about to go into surgery), and then later announce that he’s back:
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.
[2.] Second (section 4), the Vice-President plus a majority of the
Article from Latest – Reason.com