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Can a former Prez be appointed Vice Prez???

 
 
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 09:33 am
Can a former President be appointed Vice President after he has served 2 terms as President? Question
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 4,161 • Replies: 45

 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 09:39 am
Re: Can a former Prez be appointed Vice Prez???
truesilverwolfman wrote:
Can a former President be appointed Vice President after he has served 2 terms as President? Question

No, he must be eligible to serve as President
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 09:45 am
isn't the thing though that no one can be elected more than twice? And if a president dies or ptherwise steps down the vice president BECOMES president temporarily .... is not elected?

I think we've talked about this before...
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 10:46 am
Engineer is correct, no one can serve as Vice President who is ineligible for the office of President. A person can serve either two terms or ten years, whichever is longer, but no one can serve for longer than two terms or ten years.

I suspect this is motivated by a currently popular political superstition of the right that Bill Clinton would somehow get appointed Vice President, at which point Hillary would resign, and he becomes President again.

One of the best antidotes to political confusion is to actually read documents such as the United States Constitution.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 10:54 am
there's a lot of big words in the constitution Set.... and not everyone is an intellectual Obama supporter.... I count on you for my education... :wink:
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rabel22
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 10:56 am
So since Bill has served for 8 years he could be vice president and serve as president for 2 years if the president became unable to serve. So Bill is eligible.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 10:58 am
I agree with Set that this is probably a Clinton question.... since Hillary will not be president it's pretty much moot.....
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mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 01:18 pm
rabel22 wrote:
So since Bill has served for 8 years he could be vice president and serve as president for 2 years if the president became unable to serve. So Bill is eligible.


No, he cant.
IF Bill Clinton had been VP when the President, and IF that had happened with less then 2 years left on the Presidents term, then Bill could have served out the remaining time on the Presidents term and then run for election to 2 terms of his own.

Here is what the 22nd amendment says...

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am22

Quote:
Amendment 22 - Presidential Term Limits. Ratified 2/27/1951. History

1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.


So unless the law is changed Bill Clinton cannot serve as VP or as a cabinet member.
truesilverwolfman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 09:50 pm
First off I never put any political designation to this question, this could happen to the Democratic or the Republican parties. So a former 2 term prez still has 2 years of possible Presidential service left to him, does that make him eligible to be appointed VP? This kinda leads into another question. Isn't the VP an appointed official? Appointed by the person who is running for President and approved by the general electorate. Don't we elect the president and approve his running-mate? When we vote, do we not vote for the office of the President and are we not saying to the one we are voting for "We agree to your selection of a Vice President"? If this hypothetical scenario were to be a reality, wouldn't we have to have another Presidential election at the end of the 2 year limit?
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 May, 2008 07:12 am
Setanta wrote:

I suspect this is motivated by a currently popular political superstition of the right that Bill Clinton would somehow get appointed Vice President, at which point Hillary would resign, and he becomes President again.


It is virtually impossible for spouses to be President/Vice President. The Twelfth Amendment provides that the President and Vice President must be from different states. It would be highly unusual for them to live in different states.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 May, 2008 10:45 am
Re: Can a former Prez be appointed Vice Prez???
truesilverwolfman wrote:
Can a former President be appointed Vice President after he has served 2 terms as President? Question

Yes.

The relevant portions of the constitution:
    Article 2: No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. 12th Amendment: ...no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States. 22nd Amendment: 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

The 12th Amendment clarified that the vice-president has the same eligibility requirements for office as the president. Article 2 of the constitution, however, only sets out three requirements for office: (1) natural-born citizen; (2) 35 or older; (3) living in the US for the past 14 years. The 22nd Amendment added an additional requirement: (4) not elected to the office of president twice or not elected to the office of president once after serving more than two years of another president's term.

The 22nd Amendment, therefore, only places a restriction on being elected to the office of president. It doesn't say anything about a person being elected to the office of vice-president. Someone who has been elected twice as president could not be elected to another term as president, but there's nothing in the 22nd Amendment that says that a two-time president can't fill a part of someone else's presidential term by succeeding that president as a vice-president. In other words, a former president isn't constitutionally ineligible to serve as a vice-president, because he wouldn't be elected to the office of the president, as set forth in the 22nd Amendment.

Under the 22nd Amendment, therefore, a former president could conceivably serve as a subsequent president's vice-president, and also succeed to the presidency in the event that the president dies or resigns. Whether that vice-president, upon succeeding to the presidency, could serve more than two years as president is unclear. From the text of the 22nd Amendment, it seems that a vice-president, under those circumstances, could not serve more than one subsequent term as president. If the vice-president is a former president who has already been elected twice, however, it is not clear how that restriction would apply.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2008 03:22 pm
I don't understand your claim, Joe. The last sentence of the XIIth Amendment reads: But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States. You have already taken notice of this. Someone who has served two terms as President is ineligible for the office of President (XXIInd Amendment), and therefore, by the terms of the XIIth Amendment, is ineligible for the office of Vice President. Perhaps you can explain your reasoning more clearly.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2008 06:18 pm
Setanta wrote:
I don't understand your claim, Joe. The last sentence of the XIIth Amendment reads: But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States. You have already taken notice of this. Someone who has served two terms as President is ineligible for the office of President (XXIInd Amendment), and therefore, by the terms of the XIIth Amendment, is ineligible for the office of Vice President. Perhaps you can explain your reasoning more clearly.

Re-read the 22nd Amendment. It doesn't say that someone who has been elected president twice may not serve another term as president, it says that s/he may not be elected to another term. A person who has previously been elected twice to the office of president would not be constitutionally ineligible to serve as president again, just so long as that person isn't elected to the position. And since a vice-president isn't elected to the office of president, the 22nd Amendment doesn't come into play.
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woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2008 07:51 am
12th Amendment: ...no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2008 08:28 am
Vice President is questionable (a Joe points out) but I think the 12th would be interpreted to mean a former 2 term President couldn't be elected or appointed VP.

That doesn't prevent a former President from holding any other office in line to be President such as Speaker of the House or a Cabinet position.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2008 10:50 am
joefromchicago wrote:
Setanta wrote:
I don't understand your claim, Joe. The last sentence of the XIIth Amendment reads: But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States. You have already taken notice of this. Someone who has served two terms as President is ineligible for the office of President (XXIInd Amendment), and therefore, by the terms of the XIIth Amendment, is ineligible for the office of Vice President. Perhaps you can explain your reasoning more clearly.

Re-read the 22nd Amendment. It doesn't say that someone who has been elected president twice may not serve another term as president, it says that s/he may not be elected to another term. A person who has previously been elected twice to the office of president would not be constitutionally ineligible to serve as president again, just so long as that person isn't elected to the position. And since a vice-president isn't elected to the office of president, the 22nd Amendment doesn't come into play.


The XIIth Amendment makes no distinction about election. It simply states that no person who is not eligible for the office of President is eligible for the office of Vice President.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2008 11:17 am
Setanta wrote:
The XIIth Amendment makes no distinction about election. It simply states that no person who is not eligible for the office of President is eligible for the office of Vice President.

Well, that's true, but largely irrelevant. The 22nd Amendment doesn't say that a former two-time president isn't eligible to serve as president again -- s/he is just not eligible to be elected as president again.

Your interpretation of the 12th Amendment only works if you read it as saying: "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President and the criterion for judging eligibility is based on whether or not the vice-president would be eligible for the office of president if he were running for that office in that election." I suppose one could make that interpretation, but I think it's rather forced.

Look at it this way: suppose Dick Cheney decides to run for president in 2012. He chooses George W. Bush to be his running mate in order to protect himself from any attempts to remove him from office. Now, if Bush were running for president in that election, it is clear that he would be ineligible, pursuant to the terms of the 22nd Amendment. But is he ineligible to run as vice-president? I think not. After all, the only prohibition is on Bush being elected to the office of president. There's nothing that says he can't serve as president if something were to happen to President Cheney. Furthermore, the 12th Amendment doesn't come into play, because Bush isn't "constitutionally ineligible to the office of President." He's only constitutionally ineligible to be elected to the office of the president.

Now, it should be pointed out that we are dealing with the intersection of one of the worst written amendments to the constitution -- the 22nd -- and the worst written amendment to the constitution -- the 12th. My guess is that the framers of the 22nd, if they had been thinking of this situation at all, would have wanted to prevent the possibility of a two-time president serving as a vice-president in someone else's administration. Unfortunately, they didn't write the amendment to say that.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2008 11:21 am
I agree that both amendments are poorly written--there's a lot of that in the amending of the constitution. Your claim about what i am saying is unfounded, and i don't appreciate having words put into my mouth. Finally, i strongly suspect that if it ever came to the issue, the Supremes would have far less difficulty in resolving the issue than your position suggests.
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2008 11:43 am
Interesting article on this subject.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2008 12:15 pm
parados wrote:
Vice President is questionable (a Joe points out) but I think the 12th would be interpreted to mean a former 2 term President couldn't be elected or appointed VP.

That doesn't prevent a former President from holding any other office in line to be President such as Speaker of the House or a Cabinet position.


Definitely there's no problem with holding a Cabinet post or Speaker o' the House (which John Quincy Adams did after his Presidency, anyway). You need not be eligible to be Prez. to be in the Cabinet, as Henry Kissinger (not born in the US) proved in the 70s.

If a VP were to be selected who could not serve as President (and I don't think that's possible but I'm not 100% convinced either way), as a practical consideration the Speaker of the House job becomes extremely important (much more than it usually is) and that's chosen by the House members and of course can be a Rep. from any party. In a lot of years, that's been the party not in the White House, so for practical considerations alone, I'd think it would be the acme of foolishness for a candidate to select a running mate who could not fill his or her shoes if the chips were down, as that would have in a lot of years guaranteed a switch in power to the other main party.
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