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?

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

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  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.