bryanw at TJSL.EDU
Tue Jun 6 14:35:30 PDT 2000
This is a fun thread! Just a few thoughts in response to Prof. Goldstein's:
The 22nd Am includes an express provision exempting the then-incumbent
president (Truman). Otherwise, Truman would have been barred from being
reelected in 1952, since he had been elected once before in his own right
(1948) and had served more than two years of another electee's (Roosevelt's)
term (1945-49). But as it was, Truman was eligible to run in '52 and
thereafter, and could theoretically have served through his death in 1972.
Also, under my reading, it is theoretically possible for an individual to
serve an unlimited number of complete and contiguous four-year terms, by
running and being elected repeatedly as VP, then having the (presumably
cooperative) President-elect resign or die. I'm unsure (offhand) if a
President-elect can "resign" before being inaugurated or how that would be
treated under the Lame Duck Amendment, but the Prez-elect's pre-inauguration
death would certainly allow the incumbent President ("re"-elected as VP and
now the President-elect by succession) to continue serving a third term
without interruption -- and thereafter, theoretically, a fourth, fifth etc
term under some similar scenario. Also, an elected VP could "cooperatively"
resign and an ex-prez like Clinton could then be appointed VP instead (under
the 25th Am) and would, again, be in line for more presidential service.
I share Prof. Friedman's curiosity whether any of this was discussed in
1947-51 (during framing/adoption of the 22nd), but don't have the time
currently to research it.
By the way, for those looking for summer reading and who like political
thrillers with a "constitutional law" angle, William Safire's novel "Full
Disclosure" is a fascinating and very enjoyable account of how the 25th
Amendment might play out in a plausible real-life scenario (President
blinded while in office).
Bryan Wildenthal, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Leslie Goldstein [mailto:lesl at UDEL.EDU]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2000 11:49 AM
> To: CONLAWPROF at listserv.ucla.edu
> Subject: Re: Vice-President Clinton?
> It seems to me that people HAD to be aware of it because FDR had just
> been succeeded by his VP Truman, who had then been elected ONCE. It
> seems to me that the way it was worded carefully allowed him to run
> again, if he wanted, in 1952. A person can twice be elected president
> but can serve as VP any number of times. That is the literal reading,
> in my view. Also I don't see anything wrong with this
> reading. Even if
> someone ended up serving part of a term as an ex-VP, s/he could never
> serve three full consecutive terms.
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