Twenty-Fifth Amendment Archive
Fordham University School of Law’s history with the Twenty-Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution began with an article in the Fordham Law Review in 1963. Just one month before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Fordham Law Review published “The Problem of Presidential Inability—Will Congress Ever Solve It?” by John D. Feerick (Dean, Fordham Law School, 1982-2002). President Kennedy’s death spurred Congress to fill the gaps and ambiguities in the succession procedures.
This Archive features material related to presidential succession and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment and captures Fordham Law’s unique ties to the Amendment.
The writings of former Dean John D. Feerick stand as many of the collection’s highlights. Dean Feerick advised members of Congress, as they drafted the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. His 1963 article helped guide the framing of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. Congressional hearing transcripts and his personal correspondence reveal Dean Feerick’s contributions.
Former Senator Birch Bayh’s book One Heartbeat Away provides an overview of the Amendment’s framing from the perspective of the provision’s primary sponsor.
In the decades following the Amendment’s ratification, Fordham continued its involvement with presidential succession through two major symposia and a Presidential Succession Clinic, both of which proposed reform recommendations.
Many of the items in the Archive tell the extraordinary story of Amendment’s drafting and ratification, while other material illuminates unresolved issues in the nation’s presidential succession system. Indeed, the Archive provides the resources to learn from the Amendment’s drafting and invocations and to inform future efforts to fulfill the Amendment’s core purpose of ensuring the stability and continuity of the presidency.