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Presidential Succession and Disability
Presidential Succession Act of 1947 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Vice President Speaker of the House Pro Tempore of the Senate Secretary of State Secretary of the Treasury Secretary of Defense Attorney General Secretary of the Interior
Presidential Succession Act of 1947 9. Secretary of Agriculture 10. Secretary of Commerce 11. Secretary of Labor 12. Secretary of Health and Human Services 13. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 14. Secretary of Transportation 15. Secretary of Energy 16. Secretary of Education 17. Secretary of Veteran Affairs 18. Secretary of Homeland Security
25 th Amendment (Ratified 1967) • Section 1: In case of removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President
Presidential Vacancy • 0 Presidents has ever been removed from office (2 impeached, both acquitted) • 8 Presidents have died in office (4 from assassination, 4 from natural causes) • 1 President has resigned
Removal From Office • Impeachment Process 1. House of Representatives Impeaches by a majority vote 2. Senate conducts the trial, 2/3 vote required to convict and remove from office The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside over the trial of an impeached President instead of the Vice President • Andrew Johnson (1868) Acquitted • Bill Clinton (1998 -1999) Acquitted
Impeachable Offenses • Article II, Section 4 • “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”
Impeachment of Andrew Johnson • • • Andrew Johnson (Impeached 1868) Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act in 1867 Johnson fires his Secretary of War (Edwin Stanton) House brings 11 articles of impeachment Johnson acquitted (not guilty) by 1 Senate vote Tenure of Office Act is repealed in 1887 (illegal)
Impeachment of Bill Clinton • Bill Clinton (Impeached 1998) • House brought 2 articles of Impeachment: 1. Perjury (lying under oath): 228 to 206 vote 2. Obstruction of Justice: 221 to 212 vote • Result of affair Clinton had with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky • Senate acquits Clinton on both charges (1999) 1. Perjury (45 to 55 vote) 2. Obstruction of Justice (50 to 50 vote)
Bill Clinton Impeachment
VP assumes the Office of President 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. William H. Harrison: Death (1841) (pneumonia) Zachary Taylor: Death (1850) (gastroenteritis) Abraham Lincoln: Death (1865) (assassination) James A. Garfield: Death (1881) (assassination) William Mc. Kinley: Death (1901) (assassination) Warren G. Harding: Death (1923) (illness) Franklin D. Roosevelt: Death (1945) (cerebral) John F. Kennedy: Death (1963) (assassination) Richard M. Nixon: Resignation (1974)
Abraham Lincoln • The assassination of Abraham Lincoln took place on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, at approximately 10: 15 p. m. Lincoln was shot by actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth while attending a performance at Ford's Theater with his wife. Lincoln died the following day at 7: 22 a. m. • Booth was tracked down by Union Soldiers and was shot and killed by Sergeant Boston Corbett on April 26, 1865.
James A. Garfield • Took place in Washington, D. C. , at 9: 30 a. m. on Saturday, July 2, 1881, less than four months after Garfield took office. Charles J. Guiteau shot him because he would not hire him for a government position. Garfield died 11 weeks later, on September 19 th, 1881 due to infections. • Guiteau was immediately arrested. He was tried and found guilty. He appealed, but his appeal was rejected, and he was hung on June 30, 1882 in the District of Columbia.
William Mc. Kinley • Friday, September 6, 1901, at the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York. Mc. Kinley, attending the Pan-American Exposition, was shot twice by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist. Mc. Kinley died eight days later, on September 14, 1901, at 2: 15 a. m. • Immediately after he shot Mc. Kinley, members of the crowd subdued Czolgosz, before the National Guard Signal Corps and police intervened, and beat him so severely it was initially thought he might not live to stand trial. Czolgosz did survive and was convicted and electrocuted by three Congress ordered the US Secret Service jolts, each of 1800 volts, in Auburn to protect the President after the Prison on October 29, 1901 assassination of President Mc. Kinley
JFK Assassination in 1963 • Shot on Friday, November 22 nd, 1963 in Dallas Texas at 12: 30 P. M. while in a motorcade • 10 month investigation (Warren Commission) • Official response: JFK was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald • Conspiracy Theories: 1. CIA and Military (Vietnam War) 2. Civil Rights 3. Mafia 4. Castro (Cuba) 5. CIA/Military/M. Monroe/UFO Theory
JFK Motorcade moments before assassination
Assassination of JFK in 1963 First shot: JFK raises both hands to his throat in reaction to being hit. Bullet Wound to Neck Autopsy Photograph
Side View: Exit wound in rear of skull
Oswald Killed by Jack Ruby
Vice President Johnson swears in as the new President on an Airplane next to Jackie Kennedy
Ford Assassination Attempts
• First assassination attempt • September 5, 1975: On the northern grounds of the California State Capitol, Lynette Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, drew a Colt M 1911. 45 caliber pistol on Ford when he reached to shake her hand in a crowd. There were four cartridges in the pistol's magazine but the firing chamber was empty. She was soon restrained by Secret Service agent Larry Buendorf. Fromme was sentenced to life in prison, but was released from custody on August 14, 2009, nearly 3 years after Ford's death. • Second assassination attempt • September 22, 1975: In San Francisco, California, Sara Jane Moore fired a revolver at Ford from 40 feet away. A bystander, Oliver Sipple, grabbed Moore's arm and the shot missed Ford. Moore was sentenced to life in prison. She was later paroled from a federal prison on Monday, December 31, 2007 (370 days after Ford's death) after serving more than 30 years
The Reagan assassination attempt occurred on Monday, March 30, 1981, just 69 days into the presidency of Ronald Reagan. While leaving a speaking engagement at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D. C. , President Reagan and three others were shot and wounded by John Hinckley, Jr. Jodie Foster Alexander Haig
“Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the President, the Vice President and the Secretary of State in that order, and should the President decide he wants to transfer the helm to the Vice President, he will do so. He has not done that. As of now, I am in control here, in the White House, pending return of the Vice President and in close touch with him. If something came up, I would check with him, of course. ” Alexander Haig
George H. W. Bush Attempt • April 13, 1993: Sixteen men, said to be in the employ of Saddam Hussein, smuggled a car bomb into Kuwait with the intent of killing Bush as he spoke at Kuwait University. The plot was foiled when Kuwaiti officials found the bomb and arrested the suspected assassins. Bush had left office in January 1993.
Bill Clinton (1 st Attempt) • September 12, 1994: Frank Eugene Corder flew a single-engine Cessna into the White House lawn, allegedly trying to hit the White House. The President and First Family were not home at the time, thus the actual motive behind the crash landing is inconclusive. Corder was the only casualty
Bill Clinton (2 nd Attempt) • October 29, 1994: Francisco Martin Duran fired at least 29 shots with a semi-automatic rifle at the White House from a fence overlooking the north lawn, thinking that Clinton was among the men in dark suits standing there (Clinton was in the White House Residence watching a football game). Three tourists, Harry Rakowsky, Ken Davis and Robert Haines, tackled Duran before he could injure anyone. Duran was found to have a suicide note in his pocket and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
President Nixon Resigns • Result of the Watergate Scandal • Republican operatives break into the Democratic Party’s National Headquarters in the Watergate complex (hotel) in Washington D. C. in June 1972 • Long list of illegal activity: bribery, perjury, income tax invasion, fraud, and illegal campaign contributions • The trail led back to Nixon • House was moving to impeach • Nixon resigned August 9 th, 1974
Nixon Resigns “I am not a crook”
Review 1. Presidents removed from office? None (2 impeached: Johnson, Clinton) both acquitted 2. Presidents that died in office? 8 total (4 assassinated, 4 natural causes) 3. Presidents that have resigned 1 (Nixon)
25 th Amendment (Ratified 1967) • Section 2: “Whenever there is a vacancy in the office 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” Richard Nixon Spiro Agnew Gerald Ford Nelson Rockefeller
25 th Amendment (Ratified 1967) • 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”
President Bush (July 21 st 2007) • CAMP DAVID: Doctors removed five small growths from President Bush ’s colon after he temporarily transferred the powers of his office to Vice President Dick Cheney under the rarely invoked 25 th Amendment. • The polyps, extra tissue growing inside the large intestine, were found during a routine colon cancer scan performed at the Camp David presidential retreat. • Bush invoked the presidential disability clause of the Constitution at 7: 16 a. m. He transferred his authority to Cheney, who was at his home on the Chesapeake Bay in St. Michaels, Md. , about 45 miles east of Washington. • Nothing occurred during the 2 hours and 5 minutes of the transfer that required Cheney to take official action
25 th Amendment (Section 4) • Vice President and a majority of the principal officers of the executive departments (Cabinet: 15 total) • Written declaration to the President Pro Tempore of Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives • Vice President shall assume the duties and office of the President Majority of Cabinet (8 out of 15) + VP
th 25 Amendment (Section 4) • Congress shall assemble within 48 hours if not already assembled • Congress has 21 days to decide the issue • Requires a 2/3 vote in both houses of Congress to determine that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office
Summary and Review • Next 4 people in line to succeed the President • 3 automatic times the Vice President would become President (examples of each) • Process for replacing a Vice President • President transfers power to Vice President • Process for taking power from the President
Final Thought ! § “I am the Vice President. In this I am nothing, but I may be everything” § John Adams Nation’s 1 st Vice President”
Lincoln-Kennedy Assassination Curse? • Both presidents were elected to the presidency in '60. • Both presidents were elected to the United States House of Representatives in '46. • Both were runners-up for the party's nomination for vicepresident in '56. • Both successors were Southern Democrats named Johnson born in '08. • Both presidents were concerned with the problems of American blacks and made their view strongly known
• • Both presidents were shot in the head. Both presidents were shot in presence of their wives. Both presidents were shot on a Friday. Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre. Kennedy was shot in a Ford car, a Lincoln limousine. Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy who told him not to go to theatre. Kennedy had a secretary named Evelyn Lincoln (who was born 100 years after Abraham Lincoln, and whose husband Harold's nickname was Abe), and she warned him not to go to Dallas. Both Oswald and Booth were killed before they could be put on trial. Lincoln and Kennedy each have 7 letters. John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald each have 15 letters and 3 words.
Now it really gets strange • Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and fled to a warehouse. Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and fled to a theater. • A week prior to the assassination, Lincoln was in Monroe, Maryland. A week prior to the assassination of JFK, he was with the actress, Marylyn Monroe.