Acting Vice President of the United States


Acting Vice President of the United States

Acting Vice President of the United States is an unofficial designation that has occasionally been used when the office of Vice President was vacant. [http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/VP_John_Tyler.htm U.S. Senate: Art & History Home > John Tyler, Tenth Vice President (1841) ] ] [http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/art/artifact/Sculpture_21_00006.htm U.S. Senate: Art & History Home > Sculptures > Lafayette Foster ] ] [138 Cong Rec S 10316, Text of a letter by Dr. R. Krasner concerning the relationship between Congress and the Secretary of the Navy, which appeared in Roll Call on July 16, 1992. Entered into the Congressional Record by Senator Robert Byrd.]

The President "pro tempore" of the United States Senate assumes the role of presiding officer over the Senate in the event that the vice-presidency is rendered vacant either by death, resignation, or removal from office. Under the 1792 Act of Succession, in the absence of a Vice President, the president pro tempore was next in line for the powers of the presidency. Historically, some have referred to the president pro tempore under these circumstances as "Acting Vice President." However, no such office exists under the Constitution, federal statute, or recognized tradition. No person who could ever have been regarded as "Acting Vice President" has ever succeeded to the powers and duties of the Presidency, even in an acting capacity. Lafayette Foster and Benjamin Wade would have been the closest to become President. And following the adoption of the 1886 Act of Succession, the president pro tempore of the Senate was no longer next in line for the presidency after the Vice-President.

Nonetheless, James Eastland, Senator from Mississippi, was referred to as "Acting Vice President" twice; following the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew and the succession of Gerald Ford to the Presidency. [cite web
url=http://www.stennis.gov/msinwashington.htm
title=Mississippians in Washington
publisher=Stennis Center for Public Service
accessdate=2007-01-31
]

In 1964 Richard Neustadt, the noted political scientist, presidential advisor, and founder of the John F. Kennedy School of Government proposed the creation of a statutory office of Acting Vice President in hearings before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments of the Senate Judiciary Committee. [ Presidential Inability and Vacancies in the Office of Vice President: Hearings before the Subcomm. on Constitutional Amendments of the Senate Comm. on the Judiciary, 88th Cong., 2d Sess. 166 (1964) (statement of Professor Richard Neustadt proposing statutory office of Acting Vice President)] The proposal was never adopted.

ee also

* Presidential Succession Act
* List of the Presidents of the United States Senate

References


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