Is Presidential Succession a Duty?

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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1 Response

  1. Howard Wasserman says:

    As for Speaker and P/P/T, the statute uses mandatory language that the person acts as president “upon his resignation” from the legislative office and seat. But we could read the statute as not making resignation mandatory, only service upon resignation. In that case, the Speaker person has not “qualified” to act as president (by virtue of still holding a legislative office) and we move further down the line of succession.

    As for cabinet officers, the preliminary question is whether someone can act as president and be Secretary of State (I don’t know the answer, but my guess is not, as a statutory matter)? If no, we could read § 19(d) the same way. The cabinet officer shall act only if he first resigns his cabinet post, but in not resigning, he is “under disability to discharge the powers and duties.” So we move down the line.