When the president checks into a hospital suffering from a potentially deadly virus, it’s time to call on the constitutional law scholars.

That’s because the law is clear that if the commander in chief is too ill to carry out his duties, he may transfer power to the vice president. George W. Bush did that when he had to undergo anesthesia for a colonoscopy.

But the law is murkier about what happens if the president may be unable or unwilling to give up power, even if he is clearly too ill to do his job. That situation, writes Stephanie Newbold, a scholar of public administration specializing in constitutional and administrative law at Rutgers University-Newark, poses a potential constitutional crisis.

Also today:

Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

President Donald Trump walks off Marine One at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 2, 2020 as White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows watches. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis: What lies ahead could include a constitutional crisis over succession

Stephanie Newbold, Rutgers University Newark

A president may transfer power to the vice president if they are no longer capable of carrying out their official role. But there are many unanswered questions about this rarely used process.

Science + Technology


Economy + Business

Ethics + Religion

Environment + Energy

Politics/Election '20


Trending on Site