What is 25th Amendment? Nancy Pelosi's Move to Oust Trump Leads Nowhere

The 25th Amendment provides the procedures for replacing the president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will move legislation on Friday seeking the removal of President Donald Trump from office. The legislation, which will be move moved under the provisions of the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, will seek the setting up of a commission that would advise Congress that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

As per law, the Vice-President, a majority of the cabinet or Congress can give the declaration ratifying the incapacity of the President to discharge his executive powers. If this happens, the presidential powers will pass on to the Vice-President.

Meanwhile, President Trump blasted Pelosi for the move. "Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don't call her Crazy for nothing!" the president said.

Where will the Bill Lead?

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi Wikimedia Commons

It's a road to nowhere as of now. Vice-President Mike Pence does not, obviously, hold the view that the President should be removed from executive powers. He has, in fact, reiterated that Trump is doing well and is in control of things.

Secondly, Congress is not in legislative session, and a vote on the bill is highly unlikely, given its perceived futility in the given scheme of things.

However, by pressing ahead with the legislation, the Democrats will try to drive home the idea to the voting masses that the President is unfit to serve. But this strategy could also backfire as the Republicans will perceive it as a dangerous move this close to the election.

What's Pelosi's Intention?

Pelosi and the Democrats are using the provisions under the 25th Amendment to throw light into the health status of the President, with just weeks left for the election. Their focus is actually on his mental status.

"The public needs to know the health condition of the president," Pelosi said. "The president is, shall we say, in an altered state right now, so I don't know how to answer for his behavior,' Pelosi told Bloomberg Television after invoking the 25th Amendment.


What is 25th Amendment?

Here's how the Cornell Law School explains it: 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.

The relevant section of the 25th Amendment that Pelosi invokes is as follows:

"Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President."

Was 25th Amendment Used Before?

Cornell Law School notes that the Amendment was used three times in the 1970s. The first time it was used was when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned on October 10, 1973, and President Richard Nixon nominated Gerald R. Ford to succeed him.

The second was when President Nixon resigned his office August 9, 1974, and Vice President Ford immediately succeeded to the office and took the presidential oath of office at noon of the same day. And the third was when President Ford nominated Nelson A. Rockefeller as the Vice President.