The immense powers of the presidency and the vast array of global threats demand a physically and mentally capable president. To help ensure able presidential leadership, this report advocates reforms related to the 25th Amendment, including proposals for an “other body” to act with the vice president in certain circumstances to declare the president unable and a mechanism for officials to report concerns about the president’s capacity. The report also recommends new checks on the president’s authority to use nuclear weapons, such as procedures for notifying top national security officials when use is contemplated.
This report was researched and written during the 2018-2019 academic year by students in Fordham Law School’s Democracy and the Constitution Clinic, which is focused on developing non-partisan recommendations to strengthen the nation’s institutions and its democracy. The clinic's reports are available at law.fordham.edu/democracyreports.
New York City
25th Amendment; presidential succession
Cholden-Brown, Louis; De Wolff, Daisy; Figueroa, Marcello; and McCullough, Kathleen, "Protecting Against an Unable President: Reforms for Invoking the 25th Amendment and Overseeing Presidential Nuclear Launch Authority" (2020). Reports. 11.