The Framers of the Constitution did not spend a great deal of time on the succession provisions, but just enough to get the nation started. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment answered questions they left open in the area of presidential inability and gave further significance to the Vice Presidency, which had been adopted almost as an afterthought. As strong as the system of presidential succession may appear, complacency can easily set in, leading to an unwillingness to confront gaps and defects that reveal themselves along the way.

Several gaps in the area of presidential inability are triggered by the absence of any provisions in the Twenty-Fifth Amendment for dealing with the disability of a President when there is either no Vice President or the Vice President has himself become disabled. This Article examines these gaps and offers approaches for dealing with them. The Article also comments on proposals with respect to the line of succession beyond the Vice Presidency, a line considered by many scholars to be unconstitutional because it includes legislative officers, and for other reasons.

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