Trump’s erratic behavior while undergoing heavy drug treatment as a Covid-19 patient has been drawing attention to the U.S. 25th Constitutional Amendment. Currently, questions are being raised about succession, in the event that any President becomes mortally ill, or deemed not mentally fit to carry out his leadership functions.
That is why, it is widely believed that the 25th amendment provides answers on who would replace Trump and on who must make the initials steps to replace Trump; or any other future leaders who become physically or mentally incapacitated while still in office.
The Questions Raised about Trump’s Fitness to Lead the Nation
While Trump’s fitness, whether morally and/or mentally have already been raised as concerns before, the matter has become more important now that Trump is COVID-19 infected. In addition, he has been disregarding all safety measures in preventing the virus from spreading.
Several medical experts are also questioning the effects of the experimental medications that Trump has been receiving as cure for the infectious coronavirus disease, as they are being administered in combination with steroids and so called cocktail drug treatments.
After being discharged from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre last October 5, Trump has been disregarding his doctors’ medical advice. On the other, White House officials have been issuing conflicting and confusing statements about Trump’s medical conditions, particularly with regard to results of his COVID-19 tests, if any. As a matter of fact, after being discharged just a few days after contracting the virus, and while still infectious and coughing during Fox News interviews, Trump announced that he will resume his political rallies as planned.
What Does the 25th Amendment Require as Preliminary Actions When Replacing a President?
The 25th Amendment states that when the Vice President and the majority of the Cabinet, comprising at least 8 members, deduce that the current president is unfit to fulfill his presidential duties, they have the legal power to take action.
To be specific, this is stated in Section 4 of the amendment. Once a decision has been reached, it will be formally written and the memorandum forwarded to the Speaker of the House and to the Senate President. In the meantime, until Congressional decisions have been made, the incumbent vice president will temporarily replace the disabled or incapacitated president, whilst using the constitutional powers of a U.S. president.
If the president is against this action, it would be up to the Congressional lawmakers to resolve the issue with a vote. The required number of votes to keep the “acting president” in position is two-thirds of the majority vote by both Republican and Democratic parties. If the required number of votes isn’t reached, the president would reclaim his lost powers.
Obviously, with Vice President Pence clearly afraid of Trump and Republican Senate Speaker Mitch McConnel unashamedly stating that he will do everything he can to keep Trump in power despite his ongoing COVID-19 affliction, the 25 Amendment remains as a mere passage in the U.S. Constitution.