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Presidential Succession is a term that describes the arrangements under which presidential authority in the United States may be transferred other than by means of the quadrennial presidential ELECTION Specifically it embraces those procedures that apply to cases involving the death resignation removal or inability of a PRESIDENT or VICE PRESIDENT and the death or failure to qualify of a president-elect or vice president-elect These procedures are defined in three parts of the U S CONSTITUTION--Article II Section 1 Clause 6 the 20th Amendment and the 25th Amendment--and in the presidential-succession law passed by Congress in 1947 The importance of a system of presidential succession has been demonstrated repeatedly throughout American history but especially in the 20th century Between 1901 and 1974 five vice presidents became president as a result of four presidential deaths and one resignation In the 19th century four other vice presidents became president after a presidents death Between 1841 and 1975 more than one third of the presidents either died in office resigned or became disabled Of the elected vice presidents seven have died in office and two have resigned Altogether the second office has been vacant for more than 37 years Present System Article II Section 1 Clause 6 of the Constitution as supplemented by Section 1 of the 25th Amendment provides that the vice president becomes president in the event of the death resignation or removal of the president When any of these contingencies occurs the vice president takes the presidential oath and serves as president for the rest of the term Section 2 of the 25th Amendment prescribes a procedure for filling a vice-presidential vacancy The president nominates a vice president who must be confirmed by a majority vote of each House of CONGRESS Sections 3 and 4 of the 25th Amendment deal with a case in which some condition or circumstance such as a physical or mental inability prevents the president
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