Vice President Bill Clinton? Take 3

Media criticism.
Sept. 7 2000 3:18 PM

Vice President Bill Clinton? Take 3

Slatehas contradicted itself. "History Lesson" says Bill Clinton can't run for vice president. "Explainer" says he can. What's the skinny?

Advertisement

The answer is: He can. The 12th Amendment states that anybody who is eligible for the presidency under Article II of the Constitution (a natural-born citizen age 35 or older) is eligible for the vice presidency. Clinton is a natural-born citizen over 35, so he qualifies. The putative roadblock to a Clinton vice presidency--the 22nd Amendment--doesn't apply. This hastily worded and passed amendment, designed to block another multi-multi-term presidency such as FDR's, only bars the election of a president to more than two terms in that office. It doesn't prevent a two-term president from running for the vice presidency.

The 25th Amendment affords Clinton another route to the vice presidency: In the event the vice presidency is vacated, the president appoints a new veep, subject to confirmation by Congress. (This is how Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller became vice president.)

Nothing in the Constitution would prevent Vice President Clinton from becoming president via succession. Finally, another scenario could return Clinton to the White House without a pit stop at the vice presidency. If both the presidency and the vice presidency were vacated and Bill Clinton were the speaker of the House, he would become president under the 1948 presidential succession act. (Next in line, the president pro tempore of the Senate and then the cabinet officers in the order specified by the act.)

Press Box thanks Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar, American University Washington College of Law professor Jamin B. Raskin, George Washington University Law School professor Jeffrey Rosen, and Northern Illinois University professor of history David Kyvig.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.