PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — CBS Radio alumnus Michael Smerconish, this week, suggested that Sen. Bob Corker’s comments about the White House were intended to “plant the seeds” for a 25th Amendment removal of President Donald Trump. The city’s leading constitutional expert finds that unlikely.
The 25th Amendment passed in 1967 after an illness by President Eisenhower and the assassination of President Kennedy to allow the vice president to take over in the event the president is disabled.
Constitution Center President Jeffrey Rosen says it’s been invoked three times, voluntarily by President Reagan when he was shot and President Bush twice during medical procedures. But it includes a clause that lets the vice president and cabinet decide if he’s too disabled to serve.
“The determination of the president’s disability is really a political question,” Rosen said. “So that means that the cabinet and the vice president decide what disabled means. It’s not a decision for doctors. It’s not ultimately a medical decision. It’s basically a question of whatever the vice president and cabinet think.
Rosen says the president can object. Then it goes to Congress and two-thirds of both houses must vote to remove him, a higher standard than impeachment which requires two-thirds of the Senate and a majority of the House.
“It’s easier to impeach than invoke the 25th Amendment,” Rosen said, “which is why no president has ever been removed under the disability provision of the 25th Amendment.”