25th Amendment: Pelosi Lays Out Commission on Presidential Succession

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Democratic leaders unveiled legislation Friday to establish rules for presidential succession, citing President Donald Trump’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis and the outbreak among top administration officials. 

The legislation would center on a 16-member bipartisan commission comprised of doctors and former administration officials to conduct a medical exam of the president and evaluate the fitness of the president for office. 

The legislation would be based on the 25th Amendment that allows the vice president and other bodies appointed by Congress to determine if a president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” 

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a former constitutional law professor who had introduced similar legislation in 2017, said Trump’s “situation has focused everybody’s mind on the need for following through on this suggestion in the 25th Amendment that Congress set up its own body. And I think again in the age of COVID-19, where a lot of government actors who have been afflicted by it, we need to act.” 

Asked if Trump had met the threshold for passing power to the vice president under the 25th Amendment, Pelosi said, “That’s not for us to decide.”

From USA Today.