President Pelosi? Line of succession explained


Expert Pitch

#PresidentPelosi is trending on Twitter, but scholar Professor Brian Kalt says that this is way off base for several reasons:

“First and foremost is that Trump and Pence would not be removed at the same time. If Pence is removed, or if Trump is removed and Pence becomes president, there would be a vice-presidential vacancy. When there is a vice-presidential vacancy, Section 2 of the 25th Amendment directs the president to nominate a new VP, who must then be confirmed by simple majorities in the House and Senate.

There is a small chance Trump could be removed. There is a minuscule chance that Pence could be removed. But there is absolutely zero chance that any Republicans in the Senate would remove both of them without confirming a new (Republican) VP first. You need at least 20 Republicans in the Senate to vote to remove anyone (because you need 67 votes and there are only 47 Democrats), and precisely zero Republicans would ever go along with that.”

Kalt is an expert in constitutional law of the presidency, presidential pardons, impeachment, succession and the 25th Amendment. In fact, in his book, Constitutional Cliffhangers, Kalt wrote about how bad an idea it is to have the Speaker in the line of succession. His new book, Unable, is about the law, politics and limits of Section 4 of the 25th.

Here's Kalt on CNN: https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2017/10/19/how-to-understand-the-25th-amendment.cnn

And on NPR: https://www.npr.org/2017/07/29/539856280/could-trump-pardon-himself-probably-not 

Michigan State University is equipped with on-campus television and radio studios that can be used for journalists. 


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