The Twenty-Fifth Amendment clears up some questions that were left unanswered by the Constitution. Namely, what happens when the office of president or vice president becomes vacant? When William Henry Harrison died in 1841, Vice President John Tyler boldly claimed that he was the new president. This precedent was followed each time a president died while in office. After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Congress passed the Twenty-Fifth amendment, making Tyler’s precedent a constitutional fact. In the case of a vice presidential vacancy, the president nominates a replacement that the Congress must confirm.
The text of this amendment begins, “In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President. 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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© Periodic Presidents, PJ and Jamie Creek
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