2021: Grasp for the 25th Amendment


August Wells

     Recent events have transpired in which many people have brought up the 25th Amendment. A quick look at the news reveals a controversy with Donald Trump and the capitol riots. Americans have never attacked their own capitol like that, and the event was dealt with by the National Guard. With five killed, one being an officer, a few injured, and the overall chaos that was allowed, the 25th Amendment has been discussed to get Donald Trump out of office. To really understand how this could help, it is best to know what the 25th Amendment does.

     According to constitutioncenter.org, the 25th Amendment was created so that, “In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.” This essentially means that in a situation where the President can not complete their duties anymore, the Vice President will take over. That statement is sourced just from section one, ergo, there are many more specifics. As you read through section three, there are many more different details. A decision like this has to go through the House of Representatives, Congress, and the Vice President. Even after that, the President could write a letter to explain why they can stay in office. Like all Amendments, there are many sub rules and consequences.

     When this Amendment was written, it had a certain directed purpose to it. It was created after the death of President John F. Kennedy. JFK had been brutally assassinated during his presidency. His Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson, ended up taking over. At the time, Congress and the states ratified the Amendment that made these rules; this, of course, was the 25th Amendment. It had been created in the idea of a president dying or being injured so badly they could no longer be a properly functioning president. Although, in the text stated by law.cornell.edu, an assasination is not the only time this Amendment applies. The text of this source states, “The 25th Amendment, proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.” This Amendment has always been directed towards the idea of a president dying or becoming incapacitated. In this case, however, it is because many see Trump as behaviorally unfit to run the country. 

    With the Amendment as one of two ways to get Trump out of office permanently, there has finally been some light shed to it. If the 25th Amendment passes through, which can be very complicated, Mike Pence will take over as Acting President until Biden is inaugurated. Conveniently enough, Biden will be inaugurated in under two weeks. However, the VP himself has to pass on the Amendment to get the president out of office. While it seems more likely this could happen since Pence confirmed the election votes, there is no promise that he will actually go through with the movements of the 25th Amendment. This procedure is far from black and white. Like any monumental change, it has to be done carefully. Only time will tell what occurs, and how the 25th Amendment may take place in our country’s politics.