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Unable - The Law, Politics, and Limits of Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment by Kalt, Brian C (24th October 2019)

Part III Section 4 in “Practice”, 12 Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something!

From: Unable: The Law, Politics, and Limits of Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment

Brian C. Kalt

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 24 February 2020

The broader issue of when a president is unfit, as opposed to unable, is not within the purview of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. If the Vice President, the Cabinet, two-thirds of the House, and two-thirds of the Senate (a Section 4 consensus) believe the President must be stopped, there likely would be some point at which a simple majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate (an impeachment consensus) would reach the same conclusion. Section 4 is not a permanent displacement; impeachment and removal are.

Section 4 is not a mechanism for the voting public to change its mind about the leader it has placed in the White House. Attempts to use it in that way would not work very well, given the difficulty in mustering the necessary votes against the President. Unless a President is truly incapacitated, or if he is potentially incapacitated but is definitely wreaking irreparable havoc, Section 4 is designed to fail.

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