Section 1 of the 25th Amendment

Under the provisions of Section 1, what had been customary practice for 126 years before finally had become clearly codified law:  that if the office of the President becomes vacant, the Vice President gets the job.

Text of Section 1:

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


The provisions of Section 1 to date have been implemented but once:  upon the resignation of Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974.  Click here for more details.

Author's Notes and Comments

Thanks to the ambiguous, original language written into Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, for the first 64,991 days of the United States Government's history, it was not clearly and unequivocally stated that a Vice President automatically succeeded to the presidency.

The "Tyler Precedent" of 1841, followed by the successions of Millard Fillmore, Andrew and Lyndon Johnson, Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt and Harry S Truman each had set it as a de facto standard, but until ratification of the 25th Amendment, the constitutionality of succession remained somewhat in question.

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