The 25th Amendment: It's Not Just a Good Idea - It's the Law

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The news cycle has been dominated by President Joe Biden's decline, which was made inarguable to even the most partisan Democrats after the first presidential debate and seems to be growing more apparent every time someone lets the president face even those most softball questions. The 25th Amendment has been mentioned time and again as a possible tool to remedy this embarrassing situation, and that's not without reason, as it is beginning to look like Joe Biden is digging in his heels.

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However: The Federalist's senior legal correspondent, Margot Cleveland, makes a compelling case for the 25th Amendment being not just an option at this juncture but a requirement.

The Democrats’ public struggle session over what to do with the problem of Joe Biden must end. They know, we know, and, most terrifyingly, America’s enemies know that our commander-in-chief is mentally incompetent. As such, the answer is clear, and the Constitution provides it: Joe Biden must be removed from office and the vice president sworn in as president.

The only (proper) question for Biden and his party is whether the removal will be voluntary, under Section 3 of the 25th Amendment, or forced, under Section 4. Will Biden transmit “his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” to Congress? Or will the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet inform Congress of President Biden’s incapacity and remove him from office?

The vice president, honestly, is not the sharpest tack in the box, and it's questionable as to whether or not she has actually read the Constitution, much less understands it. But it would appear that her constitutional duty is clear; the president is clearly incapable, and she is on the hot seat as the one required to initiate 25th Amendment proceedings.

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Section 3 of that amendment describes the voluntary stepping-down of the president:

Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

In this case, this would presumably (and, I would argue, necessarily) be followed by a formal resignation, after which (ugh) Kamala Harris would be sworn in as president. This would also place her in the slot as the presumptive Democrat nominee for the 2024 presidential election, which should have the Trump campaign chortling in glee; they could hardly have a more ill-informed and hapless adversary to run against.

The involuntary process is a bit more involved and includes at least one major stumbling block:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

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The president has the option to contest this, and the balance of Section 4 describes that process. But here's the catch: Removing an unwilling president under the 25th Amendment requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate. That seems unlikely, to say the least. There are certainly enough partisan Democrats that would have something to gain by keeping the Bidens in the White House to make that impossible. And we have always had to admit one thing: Whatever one thinks of Democrats, they do stick together.


See Related: NEW: Frightening Report Paints an Even Worse Pic of Biden Behind the Scenes - 'Lost All Independence' 

WATCH: Joe Biden's Big Interview With George Stephanopoulos Is Out, and It's an Absolute Trainwreck 


Margot Cleveland continues:

A day or two to decide is reasonable. A week stretches the bounds. But we are now at the point where the inaction by Vice President Kamala Harris and Biden’s Cabinet constitutes a violation of their oath of office. They solemnly swore they would “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution and that they would “faithfully discharge the duties of the office.” That oath mandates they provide Congress “their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office…”

There is no wiggle room. No “wait and see” if the president can convince the public he is fit for office, whether by choreographed appearances or edited prime-time interviews. Neither spin nor conspiracy theories can alter what the world saw during the debate: Biden’s mental incapacity.

Whether caused by age, dementia, or Alzheimer’s matters not. The president of the United States cannot discharge his duties if he lacks lucidity for even a fraction of the day. The commander-in-chief must be able to command the executive branch 24-7.

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This is constitutionally, patriotically and morally correct. 

But Kamala Harris and the Biden cabinet have shown themselves, repeatedly, to be uncaring about the Constitution. They are not patriots, their many protests to the contrary notwithstanding. They are not concerned with what is morally and ethically the right thing to do; for crying out loud, even Richard Nixon knew when it was time to walk away. No, today's Democrats are concerned with the party, with winning in November (which seems like a lost cause,) and with maintaining their grip on power and, let's be honest, the financial benefits that come with that power.

The Constitution mandates action. The Biden administration and the vice president are not only declining to take said action, they are deliberately ignoring their constitutional requirements under the 25th Amendment. The president is clearly not capable. Democrats know this, Republicans know this, all American voters know this - and our enemies abroad know this. The failure to remove this incapable, incompetent president is a dereliction of constitutional duty of the first water, and I think we all know that nobody will be held to account for it - at least, not until November 5th.

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