This Article looks at the issue of presidential succession through the lens of the popular imagination, attempting see what in the nation’s laws needs changing. Many of the movies and television shows that have made plots or subplots out of presidential succession imagine what would happen if the president was killed in a nuclear attack (Jericho and By Dawn’s Early Light), a natural disaster (The Day After Tomorrow), or even an alien invasion (Mars Attacks!). Other common plotlines feature nefarious vice presidents or other officials seizing presidential office by murdering the chief executive or staging a coup d’etat to unseat him. All of these scenarios (barring an alien invasion) are possible, and our laws are, for the most part, constructed to provide appropriate solutions. But there are many recent stories from TV and film that begin where existing law ends.
William F. Baker and Beth A. Fitzpatrick,
Presidential Succession Scenarios in Popular Culture and History and the Need For Reform,
79 Fordham L. Rev. 835
Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/flr/vol79/iss3/4