United States presidential line of succession

order by which officers of the US government fill the office of president

The United States presidential line of succession is the order in which government officials replace the president of the United States if the president leaves office before an elected successor is inaugurated. If the president dies, resigns or is removed from office, the vice president becomes president for the rest of the term. If the vice president is unable to serve, the Speaker of the House acts as president.

Gerald Ford sworn in as the 38th president of the United States by Chief Justice Warren Burger on August 9, 1974 after the resignation of Richard Nixon.

Previous lines change

The United States Constitution says that the vice president of the United States is the person who will replace the president if the president is not able to continue.[1] In 1868, during the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Wade was the leader of the Senate. He almost became president, but Johnson was found not guilty by one vote. Johnson had been the vice president for Abraham Lincoln. He became president after the assassination of Lincoln. Because of Lincoln's assassination, there was no vice president at the time.

In 1886, after the death of Vice President Thomas A. Hendricks, Congress passed a law that took out the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives from the line of succession.[2] The new person behind the vice president in line was Secretary of State, followed by other Cabinet members. The leaders of the Senate and House were restored to the line of succession by the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.[2]

Present line of succession change

Below is the current line of succession for the president of the United States:

Number Office[3] name Party
1 Vice President Kamala Harris Democratic
2 Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson Republican
3 President pro tempore of the Senate Patty Murray Democratic
4 Secretary of State Antony Blinken Democratic
5 Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen Democratic
6 Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Unknown
7 Attorney General Merrick Garland Democratic
8 Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland Democratic
9 Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Democratic
10 Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo Democratic
11 Secretary of Labor Julie Su (Acting) Democratic
12 Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra Democratic
13 Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge Democratic
14 Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg Democratic
15 Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm[A] Democratic
16 Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Democratic
17 Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough Democratic
18 Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas[B] Democratic

Notes change

  1. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm is not allowed to become acting president, as she is not a natural-born U.S. citizen. Granholm's citizenship was given through naturalization.
  2. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas is not allowed to become acting president, as he is not a natural-born U.S. citizen. Mayorkas' citizenship was given through naturalization.

References change

  1. See United States Constitution, Amendment XXV.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Succession to the Presidency - A Chronology". Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  3. Lord, Debbie (June 18, 2018). "A president resigns, dies or is impeached: What is the line of succession?". WFTV.com. Cox Media Group. Retrieved June 18, 2018.

Other websites change