(ConservativeUnit.com)- The Vice President is chosen by a presidential candidate and elected into the office of Vice President along with the Presidential candidate. That person is chosen for various reasons. Not only does a VP help balance out a presidential candidate’s possible weaknesses and reach out to as wide a voter base as possible, that person is also ready to assume the office of president in the event that the president either dies or becomes incapable of doing his or her job.
There is also a line of succession designed to ensure a country remains governed even during times of crisis or disaster. If the Vice President is incapable of taking over from the President, that role is then passed down to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Other individuals in that line of succession include the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasure, Secretary of Defense, and Attorney General.
But under what circumstances does a Vice President actually take over?
Outlined in the Constitution
The United States Constitution explicitly refers to presidential succession in Article II, Section 1, Clause 6, as well as in the 12th, 20th, and 25th Amendments.
Article II explains:
“In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.”
When read alongside the 20th and 25th amendments, this provision means that the Vice President assumes the office of President in the event of death, resignation, removal, or inability.
That leaves open several possibilities. While the references to death and removal are clear – as it’s perfectly possible or likely that a president may die during the office, and it is the duty of Congress to impeach and remove presidents when they deem it necessary – there may be other scenarios where a president is deemed unable to fulfil his or her duties.
A president may be considered unable to fulfil his or her duties if he falls ill, loses consciousness, or his mind becomes compromised.