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The United States Government: Presidential Line of Succession

Published Saturday, January 21, 2006

This weeks article will look at the presidential line of succession of the United States Government. The presidential line of succession defines who may become or act as President of the United States upon the incapacity, death, resignation, or removal from office (by impeachment and subsequent conviction) of a sitting President or a President-elect. The presidential line of succession went through some changes in 1792, where the Senate President pro tempore was next in line after the vice president to succeed to the presidency, followed by the Speaker of the House. However, in1886, Congress changed the order of presidential succession by replacing the President pro tempore and the Speaker with the cabinet officers. This was however once again changed in 1947 which remains in effect until today. The present law maintains the tradition of ranking order of the Cabinet departments by the year they were established . This means, that each cabinet title is listed in order of importance according to the founding date of that office.

The U.S. Constitution and Federal law govern how a dead, resigned, incapacitated or a removed President of the United States is succeeded in office. According to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, signed by President Harry Truman, if the President of the United States is incapacitated, dies, resigns, or is for any reason unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, or is removed from office (impeached and convicted), then that official (cabin member) in the ranking order of the presidential line of succession will assume the office of the President, provided they are qualified as stated by the Constitution to assume the office of the President. This therefore means that cabin member based on the line of presidential succession must meet the Constitutional requirements, which are; must be at least 35 years old, a natural-born U.S. citizen, and have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years. Below is the presidential line of succession of the United States Government:

1. President
George W. Bush
Role and Duty
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2. Vice President
Richard Cheney
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3. Speaker of the House of Representatives
John Dennis Hastert
Role and Duty
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4. President Pro Tempore of the Senate
Ted Stevens
Role and Duty
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5. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice
Role and Duty
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6. Secretary of the Treasury
John Snow
Role and Duty
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7. Secretary of Defense
Donald H. Rumsfeld
Role and Duty
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8. Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales
Role and Duty
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9. Secretary of the Interior
Gale A. Norton
Role and Duty
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10. Secretary of Agriculture
Mike Johanns
Role and Duty
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11. Secretary of Commerce
Carlos Gutierrez (ineligible, see note below)
Role and Duty
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12. Secretary of Labor
Elaine Chao (ineligible, see note below)
Role and Duty
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13. Secretary of Health and Human Services
Mike Leavitt
Role and Duty
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14. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Alphonso Jackson
Role and Duty
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15. Secretary of Transportation
Norman Yoshio Mineta
Role and Duty
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16. Secretary of Energy
Samuel Bodman
Role and Duty
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17. Secretary of Education
Margaret Spellings
Role and Duty
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18. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Jim Nicholson
Role and Duty
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19. Secretary of Homeland Security
Michael Chertoff
Role and Duty
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NOTE: Based on the Constitutional requirements Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce, is ineligible to assume the office of the president if it should ever become available to him. This is due to the fact that he was born in Cuba. Likewise, Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor, would also be ineligible to assume the office of the president if it should ever become available. This is also due to the fact that she was born in Taiwan.

It also important to note also that a bill is presently awaiting House approval for the office of the Homeland Security secretary to move up to number 8 on the list of the presidential line of succession. This bill was passed by the Senate in late July 2005.

Related Articles:
Presidents of the United State of America
Political terms and their definitions
Interesting and shocking Facts - Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy
The United Nations in summary - who are they ?

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7 Comments:

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Andy Dabydeen said...
 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger The Phoenix said...
 
At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
 
At 6:34 AM, Blogger Furkids In Hong Kong said...
 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Jaymes said...
 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger Amstaffie said...
 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger R. Edmondson said...
 

Quite interesting. And quite a number of 'mishaps' need to happen before we run out of people.

I wonder ... what are the restrictions of all of those people being in the same place, at the same time?

And where is the undisclosed location they put the VP? It would be so fascinating to find out...although it would defeat the purpose if we knew.

I just wonder if it's some underground bunker in the middle of the desert or something.

I love your site. In fact, I was wondering if you'd mind checking out my site. It is similar in nature. It seeks to spark intelligent conversation about news that MATTERS to People.

My Blog: http://www.thedailyticket.blogspot.com

Nice post and info on all the people you've listed.

Thanks!

I am very well friend, but I have other things going on at the moment so I have had no time at all to focus on my blog. Right now I need to focus on college and also completing my online portfolio. I'm sorry that I have neglected the site for so long.

So I guess that means that Arnold Schwartzenegger (sp?) can't become president, huh? At least I hope not. He's trying to ban pit bulls in Cali. We don't need a prez that's going to be so close minded about things like that. But that's just my opinion.

Andy:
Good qestion there Andy. They might have some policies of all them not being at one location at a given time. Maybe they would send a aide or something like that. I have no idea.

Also, thanks for the visit and comment. It's much apprerciated.

Phoenix:
The president had ordered the building of underground bunkers away from major metropolitan areas for use by top government officials in the case of a nuclear attack. Former CIA Director George Tenet had informed President Bush one month after the 9-11 attacks that at least two suitcase nukes had reached al-Qaida operatives in the U.S that were hidden here by spies from the former Soviet Union. They were told were to find it through a former spy agent in Russia - I don’t remember his name right now. Also, Al-Qaida Terrorist sleeper cells have already smuggled nuclear nukes across the U.S.-Mexico border. The al-Qaida operatives are believed to have pass through the U.S.-Mexico border with the assistance of the MS-13 smugglers.

Thanks very for the visit and for taking the time to leave a comment. I'm guilty of not leaving one at your site for a good while now. I'm kind of lazy but hope to change that soon :) I must also say that you have a great blog which I always find very interesting.

Bye for now.

Anonymous:
Thanks for the visit.

Furkids:
Thank you very much :) Always glad to have you as a regular reader.

Later.

James:
I’m glad to hear you are well. I do understand that there will always come a time when we are all very busy and certainly will have to put things that are most important as priority first.

I wish you all the best with college and much success in your work.

Bye for now.

Amstaffie:
Right you are my friend. I read and watched it on the television sometime ago that his administration was trying to get this change by Congress (if my memory serves me right). I haven’t heard anything since. I do understand your concern, it’s all about politics. Sometimes they do things just to get votes or some other twisted motive.

Later.

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