Presidentsopvolging: hoe die 'aangewese oorlewende' inpas

Presidentsopvolging: hoe die 'aangewese oorlewende' inpas


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Wie volg die president op in geval van dood of ongeskiktheid? Daar is 'n lys van bykans 20 amptenare - begin met die vise -president en die speaker van die Huis - wie se leiersrolle hulle in die regte posisie in die pos plaas. Dan is daar die wildkaart: 'n 'aangewese oorlewende' wat die pos kry as al die mense in 'n rampspoedige gebeurtenis dood is.

Daar is slegs 'n handjievol geleenthede wanneer Amerika se voorste leiers in dieselfde kamer vergader. Gewoonlik vergader die president se jaarlikse staatsrede gewoonlik nie net die president, vise -president en albei huise van die kongres nie, maar al nege regters van die Hooggeregshof en lede van die president se kabinet. Hoe vreeslik dit ook al is om te dink, 'n doelgerigte kernaanval of terreuraanval op die Capitol -gebou tydens so 'n gebeurtenis kan byna die hele leierskap van die Amerikaanse federale regering in een klap uitwis.

Die Grondwet gee aan die Kongres die verantwoordelikheid om 'n opvolgingslyn op te stel as die president of vise -president sterf of uit die amp onthef word. Maar daar is niks in die stigtingsdokumente wat betrekking het op 'n sogenaamde 'onthoofdingstaking' waarin feitlik alle top-federale amptenare tegelyk vermoor word nie. Daarom het Amerikaanse presidente wat uit die jare sestig dateer, 'n aangewese oorlewende - altyd 'n lid van hul kabinet - gekies om die staat van die unie en ander groot politieke byeenkomste, soos inhuldigings en presidensiële toesprake, by gesamentlike kongressessies te sit. Maar eers sedert die tagtigerjare is die identiteit van hierdie nie-bywoner openbaar gemaak, tesame met 'n paar interessante staaltjies oor hul vreemde aand.

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Die aangewese oorlewingsprotokol het dringend geword tydens die Koue Oorlog

Die kongres het in 1792 die oorspronklike presidensiële opvolgingswet goedgekeur, waarin die president pro tempore van die senaat die volgende in die ry was, na die vise -president, gevolg deur die speaker van die Huis van Verteenwoordigers. Die wet is twee keer gewysig, in 1886 en 1947, toe dit op die huidige volgorde van opvolging beland het: vise -president, speaker van die Huis, president van die Senaat pro tempore. Daarna kom lede van die president se kabinet in die volgorde waarin hul kabinetsposisies geskep is, begin by die minister van buitelandse sake en eindig by die sekretaris van binnelandse veiligheid.

Dit is nie toevallig dat die laaste keer dat die presidensiële erfopvolging verander is tydens die aanvang van die Koue Oorlog nie. Onder president Dwight D. Eisenhower het federale amptenare die konsep van "kontinuïteit van die regering" bekendgestel om die werklike bedreiging van Sowjet -nukes teen Washington, DC te hanteer. Natuurlik sou 'n lang reeks opvolging nie veel baat as die hele groep het tydens dieselfde aanval in dieselfde kamer gesit. Dit is toe historici meen dat die aangewese oorlewingsprotokol uitgebroei is.

"In die vroeë jare van die atoomtydperk was daar 'n besef dat 'n plan om 'n element van grondwetlike legitimiteit te handhaaf belangrik word as 'n kernaanval andersins alle akteurs wat na die presidentskap kan styg, uitskakel," sê Gerhard Peters, mede-direkteur van Die Amerikaanse presidentskapsprojek, 'n aanlyn sentrum van presidensiële openbare dokumente wat aangebied word aan die Universiteit van Kalifornië, Santa Barbara.

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Wanneer het presidente 'n aangewese oorlewende begin kies?

Wie was die eerste aangewese oorlewende? Die inligting is nog nooit gedeklassifiseer nie. Volgens die Senaat se historiese kantoor dateer die praktyk dat een kabinetsamptenaar in die staat van die Unie sit, ten minste die vroeë 1960's, "en miskien baie vroeër". Die eerste aangewese oorlewende wat deur die Withuis erken is, was Terrel Bell, minister van onderwys, wat afwesig was van president Ronald Reagan se toespraak in 1981 na 'n gesamentlike kongres, maar Bell is eers lank na die gebeurtenis geïdentifiseer.

Eers in 1984 begin die Withuis op dieselfde dag as die staatsrede die naam van die aangewese oorlewende in die openbaar. Die Withuis gebruik egter nooit die term 'aangewese oorlewende' nie. Dit noem hulle "die kabinetslid wat nie teenwoordig was nie."

Tussen 1984 en 2020, presidente het die sekretaris van binnelandse sake die meeste gekies (sewe keer), gevolg deur die landbousekretaris (ses) en die sekretaris van veterane -aangeleenthede (vier). Slegs twee vroulike kabinetslede is amptelik gekies as die aangewese oorlewende. ('N Derde, minister van buitelandse sake, Hillary Clinton, het die Staat van die Unie van 2010 gemis, en hoewel sy nie die aangewese oorlewende was nie, het hy die gekose sekretaris agtereenvolgens oortref.) .

Nie elke kabinetslid kwalifiseer vir die rol nie. Kandidate moet voldoen aan die twee basiese kwalifikasievereistes vir die presidentskap, wat minstens 35 jaar oud is en 'n natuurlike Amerikaanse burger is. Byvoorbeeld, verskeie kabinetslede wat in die buiteland gebore is, was op dreef, insluitend die minister van buitelandse sake, Madeleine Albright (Tsjeggo-Slowakye) en die minister van vervoer, Elaine Chao (Taiwan).

In die afgelope jaar het die kongres ook 'n senator gekies om die staat van die Unie sowel as 'n senior kongrespersoneel oor te slaan.

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Hoe is dit om die aangewese oorlewende te wees?

In 'n woord, surrealisties. Terwyl voormalige aangewese oorlewendes nie al die besonderhede van hul sekuriteit met hoë sekuriteit kan deel nie, het 'n paar interessante inligting verskyn.

Individue leer dat hulle 'n paar weke voor die staat van die Unie as die aangewese oorlewende gekies is. Gesweer tot geheimhouding ontvang hulle dan 'n soort onbekende spesiale opleiding wat hulle voorberei op die afgeleë moontlikheid om in die president se skoene te trap. 'Hulle het u deur die Withuis gestap en die Situation Room gewys en ernstig gepraat oor die verantwoordelikheid van die aangewese oorlewende,' het die voormalige sekretaris van gesondheid en menslike dienste, Donna Shalala, wat in 1996 deur Bill Clinton getik is, aan ABC News in 2014 gesê.

Op die aand van die staatsrede word die aangewese oorlewende gewoonlik weggevoer deur 'n geheime diensbesonderheid, saam met die 'Football', die aktetas van 45 pond wat die geheimsinnige bekendstellingskodes vir Amerika se kernarsenaal bevat. Gewoonlik word die aangewese oorlewende na 'n onbekende plek gevlieg waar hy of sy kyk na die uitsending van die staat van die Unie in die geselskap van geheime diensagente, met 'n goeie ete.

In 1986 het die landbousekretaris van Ronald Reagan, John Block, die geleentheid in 'n Jamaikaanse villa van 'n vriend uitgejaag. In 2000 het Clinton se energiesekretaris, Bill Richardson, 'n braaivleisete geniet by 'n huis aan die oostelike oewer van Maryland. Shalala, wat die neiging volg, het gesê dat sy in die Withuis kamp opgeslaan het en saam met personeel pizza geëet het. Clinton het haar gesê voordat hy na die Capitol vertrek het: 'Moenie iets doen wat ek nie sou doen nie', 'het sy aan ABC News gesê. 'Ek het na die ovaalkantoor gegaan en 'n minuut lank in die presidentstoel gesit.'

In 1997 het die voormalige minister van landbou, Dan Glickman, gevra om na New York gevlieg te word, sodat hy na die adres in sy dogter se woonstel kon kyk. Na die uitsending, waarna hulle saam met geheime diensagente en 'n militêre beampte met die 'voetbal' gekyk het, het die sekuriteitsdetail aan Glickman gesê 'die missie is beëindig' en het hy 'n vlug na DC aangebied, maar het sy dogter vir Japannese kos geneem en let op die ironie dat hy 'n paar uur nadat hy as 'n kluis vir die leier van die vrye wêreld gedien het, nie 'n taxi in die reën kon kry nie.

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Die 9/11 aanvalle in 2001 het die erns en geheimhouding van die aangewese oorlewende protokol verhoog. Alex Vogel, die aangewese senaatpersoneel wat gekies is om in die staat van die Unie in 2004 te sit, onthou dat hy in 'n verouderde militêre helikopter deur pikswart donkerte gevlieg is. aangesien die vlieëniers, wat 'n nagvisbril gedra het, alle binne- en buiteligte afgeskakel het. Hulle het op 'n naamlose veilige plek aangekom, toegerus met stapelbeddens en baie toiletpapier. Daar is 'n heerlike maaltyd bedien - steak en kreef - terwyl hulle na die adres kyk op 'n TV met 'n kar. Hy het gesê dat die eetkamer 'dikker as normale deure' gehad het.

Alhoewel die vooruitsig van 'n "onthoofdingstaking" hoogs onwaarskynlik bly, dra aangewese oorlewendes 'n skielike en ontsaglike swaar gewig - al was dit net vir 'n paar uur. 'U dink aan die rampspoed wat u sou moet vind om president te wees en die situasie in die land wat sou ontstaan,' het Jim Nicholson, die voormalige sekretaris van veterane -aangeleenthede tydens president George W. Bush se toespraak in 2006, aan ABC News gesê. 'Om op daardie oomblik die president te word, sou 'n baie moeilike, surrealistiese ervaring wees.'


Wat is die aangewese oorlewende?

By elke jaar se staatsrede word een kabinetsamptenaar, bekend as die 'aangewese oorlewende', gevra om die toespraak uit te sit en van 'n verre plek af te kyk. Alhoewel hierdie jaar nog nie aangekondig is nie, is hier 'n paar dinge om in gedagte te hou wanneer u agterkom wie in die toespraak van Dinsdag ontbreek:

1. Wie en hoekom? 'N Aangewese oorlewende is 'n amptenaar op kabinetsvlak wat elke jaar tydens die staat van die Unie aangestel word om die kontinuïteit van die regering te handhaaf indien 'n' ramp 'sou plaasvind terwyl alle ander lede van die federale regering op 'n enkele plek is.

2. Opeenvolgingslyn: Volgens die gedetailleerde opvolgingslyn neem die vise -president oor as iets met die president gebeur, gevolg deur: die Speaker van die Huis die president pro tempore van die Senaat, die minister van buitelandse sake, die tesourie -sekretaris, die sekretaris van verdediging, die prokureur -generaal en almal in die rigting van kabinetsamptenare. Die aangewese oorlewende neem oor as alle partye in die lyn uitgewis word.

3. Presidensiële veiligheid: Die aangewese amptenaar word op 'n onbekende plek vir die nag op sekuriteitsvlak beveilig. 'N Militêre assistent vergesel ook die kabinetsamptenaar, toegerus met 'n aktetas met die kernoorlogplan.

4. Kommer oor die Koue Oorlog: Presidentsopvolging en kontinuïteit van die regering het in die Koue Oorlog -era 'n groot kommer geword, toe die moontlikheid van 'n verwoestende kernaanval op Amerikaners ongemaklik oor die Amerikaanse regering hang.

5. Tradisie: Die gebruik om 'n aangewese oorlewende tydens die State of the Union -aanstellings aan te stel, dateer uit (ten minste) die 1960's. Die keuse van die aangewese oorlewende is eers in die 1980's gewoonlik bekendgemaak.

6. Mini Wetgewer: Sedert 2003 is lede van die kongres uit elke kamer ook gevra om die toespraak oor die stand van die Unie uit te sit om wetgewende opvolging te behou.

7. Geheimhouding: Elke aangewese oorlewende van elke jaar moet hul keuse tot die aand van die toespraak onder die loep hou.

8. Inwydings: State of the Union -adresse is nie die enigste geleentheid waarin aangewese oorlewendes gebruik word nie. Tydens die inhuldiging van president Obama in 2009 het die uittredende Bush-administrasie en die inkomende Obama-administrasie ooreengekom om die destydse sekretaris van verdediging, Robert Gates, die aangewese oorlewende te noem. Eric Shinseki, sekretaris van veterane -aangeleenthede, was die aangewese oorlewende vir die inhuldiging van verlede jaar.

9. Sy is 'n oorlewende: In 2010 het beide Hillary Clinton, destydse minister van buitelandse sake, en Shaun Donovan, sekretaris van behuising en stedelike ontwikkeling, die SOTU misgeloop. Alhoewel Donovan die amptelike aangewese oorlewende was, sou Clinton die volgende in die presidensiële opvolgingslyn gewees het.

10. Verlede jaar: Die aangewese oorlewende in 2013 was die sekretaris van energie, Steven Chu.


Presidentsopvolging: hoe die 'aangewese oorlewende' inpas - GESKIEDENIS

ABC se uitstekende nuwe trefferdrama 'Designed Survivor' het 'n lig gewys op 'n posisie wat in die verlede selde aandag geniet het: dié van die lid van die presidensiële erfopvolging wat weggesteek is as 'n groot aantal regeringsamptenare almal in die dieselfde plek. In die meeste gevalle is die gebruik daarvan heeltemal sinvol - maar in die geval van 'n presidensiële oorgang word die keuse van aangewese oorlewende en die geldigheid van die pos baie ingewikkelder as tydens die jaarlikse staatsrede.

In die vertoning speel die Kiefer Sutherland die sekretaris van behuising en stedelike ontwikkeling, Tom Kirkman, wat tydens die staat van die unie gesekwestreer word. Hy klim na die presidensie toe die Capitol -gebou tydens die toespraak gebombardeer word.

Die gebruik om 'n aangewese oorlewende te gebruik, dateer uit die middel van die Koue Oorlog, hoewel ons dit natuurlik nooit regtig nodig gehad het nie. Alhoewel die aangewese oorlewende tipies verband hou met die staatsrede, is dit ook standaard dat 'n aangewese oorlewende tydens die presidensiële inhuldiging in plek is. Lees meer oor die aangewese oorlewingstradisie.

As daar 'n presidensiële oorgang is, word die aangewese oorlewende deur die uittredende administrasie gekies omdat 'n inkomende administrasie nie 'n bevestigde kabinet sal hê wat die standaard erfopvolging kan uitmaak nie. 'N Uitsondering kom terug by die inhuldiging in 2009, toe president Obama by George W. Bush oorgeneem het. Die sekretaris van verdediging, Robert Gates, was die aangewese oorlewende - 'n maklike keuse, aangesien Gates deurlopend in hierdie rol gedien het onder sowel Bush as Obama.

Daar is nie so 'n maklike keuse hierdie jaar nie, want daar is niemand uit die Obama -administrasie wat onder Trump sal dien nie.

Dit is onwaarskynlik dat ons sal uitvind wie die aangewese oorlewende is, tot vroeg, kort voordat die inhuldigingsvieringe Vrydag begin. Die identiteit van die aangewese oorlewende word vooraf geheim gehou omdat almal wat weet wie dit is, die doel van die pos sou verslaan. In 2010 was Hillary Clinton, minister van buitelandse sake, afwesig in die staat van die Unie van president Obama, maar sy was nie die aangewese oorlewende nie, want almal het geweet sy was in Londen vir 'n konferensie en sou nie by die SOTU wees nie. Die HUD -sekretaris was die aangewese oorlewende daardie jaar.

Die grondwetlikheid van die aangewese oorlewende in hierdie soort situasies is natuurlik redelik morsig, want die 20ste wysiging, wat uiteensit wat moet gebeur as die uitverkore president tussen die vergadering van die kieskollege en die inhuldiging sterf, stel geen bepaling in nie vir 'n erfopvolging as beide die verkose president en die onderverkose president albei sterf, behalwe om te sê dat die kongres wetgewing kan aanvaar wat 'n opvolgingsplan vir die situasie sou stel.

Die kongres het dit egter nog nooit gedoen nie. Dit is onwaarskynlik dat een van die onbevestigde keuses van Trump in aanmerking kom vir die erfopvolging, hetsy voor of nadat hy ingesweer is, en die speaker van die huis, Paul Ryan en die president van die senaat, Orrin Hatch, sal albei by die inhuldiging. As die aangewese oorlewende lid is van die uittredende kabinet van Obama, pas hulle eers binne die presidensiële opvolgingslyn voordat Trump beëdig word, en dit is onwaarskynlik dat hulle baie lank president sal wees.

Grondwetlik sou dit die skoonste scenario wees. Enige ander sou baie duister en morsiger wees, en as 'n gebeurtenis van '' Designated Survivor '' by die inhuldiging sou plaasvind, sou dit konstitusioneel waarskynlik aan die kongres val om 'n nuwe president te kies. Daar is veral baie kongreslede wat die inhuldiging oorslaan. Maar daar sal nog vele meer teenwoordig wees.

Op die skou is spesiale kongresverkiesings gehou om sitplekke te vul, nadat slegs twee lede van die kongres die terreuraanval wat die reeks begin, oorleef het. In die regte wêreld kan vakatures in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers slegs deur verkiesing gevul word, maar in baie state word die goewerneur toegelaat om plaasvervangers van die Senaat aan te stel - hoewel sommige state vereis dat hul vakatures in die Senaat deur spesiale verkiesing gevul moet word.

Daar is egter regtig geen wettige grondwetlike voorsiening vir 'n situasie waarin almal tydens die inhuldiging van 'n nuwe president vermoor word nie, en om te probeer voorspel wat daarna sou gebeur, sou dwaas wees. Dit is heeltemal moontlik dat ons net 'n rukkie nie 'n president sou hê nie.


Die waarheid agter die 'aangewese oorlewende', die president van die post-apokalips

Eerstens ontdek die sekretaris van behuising en stedelike ontwikkeling dat al sy voorstelle gesny is uit die komende toespraak van die staatsrede van die president. Dan word hy gevra om te bedank - die president wil 'n nuwe gesig aanstel vir sy tweede termyn - en word 'n obskure ambassadeurskap as troosprys aangebied.

Ure later verneem hy dat hy die aand se "aangewese oorlewende" is - die kabinetslid wat die toespraak van die president uitspreek in geval van 'n katastrofale aanval op die Amerikaanse hoofstad.

Raai wat? Daar is 'n katastrofale aanval op die Amerikaanse hoofstad.

So begin 'Designated Survivor', die nuwe drama van ABC oor 'n toevallige president wat in Washington te kampe het met die ergste krisis in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis. Die reeks, wat Woensdagaand debuteer, vertolk Kiefer Sutherland as die voormalige akademikus sonder politieke ondervinding aan bewind nadat die president, die vise -president, die kabinet en die meeste lede van die kongres vermoor is.

Gevul met ontploffings en groot sameswerings, lyk dit soos 'n ander hoë konsep politieke riller. Maar die uitgangspunt is gebaseer op die werklike praktyk om iemand in die presidensiële opvolging tydens die staat van die Unie en by soortgelyke geleenthede op te spoor - en die omstrede vraag hoe ons bepaal wie oorneem as die president en ander senior amptenare omkom.

'Ek is versot op die protokolle van Washington, DC', sê die skepper David Guggenheim, wat eers geleer het oor aangewese oorlewendes terwyl hy 'n uitsending van die State of the Union gekyk het. 'Daar is inherent so 'n wonderlike karakterverhaal in iemand se lewe wat in 'n oomblik verander, 'n gewone man in buitengewone omstandighede.'

Die konsep van 'n "aangewese oorlewende" het eers tydens die Koue Oorlog ontstaan, te midde van die vrees dat die Sowjetunie die Amerikaanse regering met 'n tydige kernaanval kan uitwis wanneer al die leiers van die land op een plek bymekaar was, soos by die Staat van die Unie of 'n inhuldiging. Dit was 'n geheimsinnige, maar informele praktyk, met een kabinetslid wat by die geleentheid weggelaat is om die land aan die hoof te sit in geval van 'n ramp.

Voordat 2001 gekies is as die aangewese oorlewende, was dit 'n bietjie leeuwerik, 'n goeie verhaal om te vertel. Kyk na die verhaal van Dan Glickman, minister van landbou, wat gereeld vertel word. In 1997 het hy die aand van die staat van die unie deurgebring in sy dogter se woonstel in New York, omring deur die hoogste veiligheid. Toe president Clinton veilig terug by die Withuis was, het die agente verdwyn en Glickman - op pad na 'n laat ete - kon op straat nie 'n taxi vind in die reën nie.

Maar sedert die terreuraanvalle 15 jaar gelede, het die rol baie ernstiger geword. Kabinetslede wat die afgelope paar jaar gekies is, het nie oproepe gevra oor die ervaring nie, of hulle het met 'geen kommentaar' geantwoord. Dit blyk dat dit 'n sekuriteitsbreuk is om enige besonderhede te bespreek.

Soveel weet ons wel: Die president en sy voorste assistente besluit wie die jaar gaan sit. Die aangewese oorlewende word deur die Amerikaanse geheime diens uit Washington begelei, vergesel van militêre en kommunikasiehulp. Vroeër jare kon die geselekteerde persoon 'n nabygeleë plek kies (Bill Richardson het die aand in Oxford, Md., 2000 deurgebring), maar sedert 9/11 is almal 'n paar uur na dieselfde veilige regeringsfasiliteit gebring uit Washington.

En 'n min bekende feit: Daar was die afgelope dekade twee aangewese oorlewendes - een kabinetslid om die uitvoerende tak te herbou en een lid van die kongres se leierskap om 'n nuwe wetgewer te lei.


Wie het vermis toe president Barack Obama sy toespraak oor die staatsrede van 2016 gelewer het? (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Net soos die president, moet die aangewese oorlewende minstens 35 jaar oud wees en 'n natuurlike burger wees, sodat kabinetslede wat nie in die Verenigde State gebore is nie, soos die voormalige minister van buitelandse sake, Madeleine K. Albright, nie in aanmerking kom nie. En die aangewese persoon word nie outomaties president nie: as 'n ander administratiewe amptenaar, wat hoër in die opvolgingsreeks is, oorleef, sal hy of sy die pos beklee. In 2010 was minister van buitelandse sake, Hillary Clinton, oorsee tydens die staat van die unie, maar omdat haar skedule en waar sy was, is Shaun Donovan, sekretaris van die HUD, aangewys as die aangewese oorlewende. As albei 'n aanval oorleef het, sou Clinton, wat Donovan oortref, as president beëdig word.

Dit alles word beheer deur die presidensiële opvolgingswet, wat die presiese opvolgingslyn na uitvoerende gesag bepaal. En, sê die politieke geleerde Norm Ornstein, is '' 'n swak gemaakte wetgewing '.

Ornstein het sedert kort na 9/11 oor die kwessie geskryf. Toe hy besef dat die Capitol maklik deur die vierde gekaapte vliegtuig uitgewis kon word, het hy verskeie gebreke in die huidige wet geïdentifiseer: Dit stel 'n erfopvolging op gebaseer op die volgorde waarin die kabinetsdepartemente geskep is (eerder as om na die beter voorbereide sekretaris van binnelandse veiligheid, byvoorbeeld) en vra spesiale kongresverkiesings wat maande kan duur. In die geval van 'n aanval wat die land se leierskap uitgewis het, 'sou u die volle mis van die oorlog hê', sê Ornstein. 'Dit is 'n gemors soos dit nou is.'

Hy sou graag veranderinge wou sien wat goewerneurs in staat sou stel om opvolgers van dooie en onbevoegde wetgewers aan te stel sodat daar binne 'n week na 'n aanval 'n funksionerende regering kan wees. En hy wil ook hê dat politici moet kyk of die historiese opvolgingslyn die mees gekwalifiseerde president te midde van 'n nasionale tragedie sou oplewer.


Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) neem die eed af in 'Designated Survivor'. (Ben Mark/ABC)

Ondanks sy gebrek aan ervaring, weet ons dat die fiktiewe president Kirkman die oorhand sal kry omdat. . . hey, hy is Jack Bauer in 'n bril. En dit is 'n televisiereeks.

"Van die begin af wou ons hê dat dit in die regte Washington sou woon," het Rich Klein, wat in die Clinton -administrasie gewerk het, 'n konsultant vir film- en televisieproduksies, waaronder 'Designated Survivor', gesê.

'Ons doel is dat mense wat Washington ken, die presidentskap ken en die ritmes van die stad ken, na die program kyk en sê:' Hulle weet regtig hul goed '.

Kal Penn, wat 'n blaaskans geneem het om kortliks by president Obama in die Withuis te werk, speel toespraakskrywer Seth Wright, en hy bring ook sy werklike ervaring na die stel en gee raad oor sulke klein besonderhede oor wie kentekens sou dra die Withuis en wie sou nie.

Maar omdat dit Hollywood is, het die skrywers 'n paar aanpassings gemaak vir dramatiese doeleindes.

Kirkman, wat nog steeds uit die nuus is dat hy deur die administrasie sonder seremonie gestort is, kom nie agter dat hy gekies is om die toespraak uit te sit voordat hy hom voorberei om na die Capitol te vertrek nie. Sy selfoon lui. "Wat is 'n aangewese oorlewende?" hy vra. In werklikheid sou die gekose amptenaar dae tevore weet en sou hy op die dag van die toespraak in die geheim uit Washington weggevoer word.

In die vlieënier is Kirkman en sy vrou op 'n veilige plek (wat toevallig uitkyk op Washington), eet springmielies en kyk na die toespraak van die president. As die uitsending skielik afsny, storm die geheime diensagente die kamer binne terwyl nuusberigte van 'n ontploffing die lug opkom. Kirkman gooi die hortjies net betyds oop om 'n vuurbal oor die Capitol te sien, en dit is duidelik dat hy in Rosslyn is. Die werklike aangewese oorlewendes is nie naby die hoofstad van die land nie.

En hoewel dit kontra -intuïtief lyk, sou dit nie buite die kwessie wees om Kirkman terug te neem na die Withuis nie, al was dit net om hom na die ondergrondse presidensiële noodoperasiesentrum (PEOC) onder die uitvoerende woning te jaag. (Dick Cheney en ander top -amptenare van die Bush -administrasie is op 9/11 na die bunker ontruim.) Ons is nie daarvan oortuig dat fiktiewe personeellede van die Withuis, wat pas na die ontploffing van die Capitol gekyk het, gemaklik in die West Wing sal wees nie, maar dit maak dit vir goeie televisie.

Daar is ook 'n paar besonderhede wat lyk soos Hollywood, maar werklik blyk te wees.

Toe Kirkman die nuus kry dat hy gestort word, het hy 'n pos as ambassadeur by die International Civil Aviation Organization aangebied. Dit is 'n werklike agentskap van die Verenigde Nasies in Montreal wat handel oor wêreldwye lugnavigasie - en die verteenwoordiger van die Verenigde State het die titel van ambassadeur.

En daar is 'n toneel waar toespraakskrywer Wright 'n ongemaklike gesprek voer met die nuwe president in 'n badkamer in die Withuis. Die skoenpoetser op die agtergrond? 'N Regte ding.

"Kal het seker gemaak dat daar een van die outydse swart-en-rooi skoenbuffers in die agterste muur is," sê Klein. Want selfs in 'n wêreldwye krisis is gepoleerde skoene 'n moet.


Aangewese oorlewende: Wat gebeur as die president van die Verenigde State siek word?

In die VSA, as die president sterf, bedank of uit sy amp onthef word, word die vise -president grondwetlik president vir die res van die presidensiële termyn. As die president siek word en deur hom of sy kabinet geoordeel word dat hy nie sy pligte kan voortsit nie, gee die 25ste wysiging van die Amerikaanse grondwet die mag van die vise -president om waarnemende president te word totdat die president herstel. Dus, as Donald Trump die Coronavirus opdoen en te sleg word om te werk, word sy vise -president Mike Pence waarnemende president. As Trump in die amp sou sterf, sou Pence president word tot 20 Januarie 2021. As Pence voor 3 November president word (eerder as waarnemende president), sou hy heel waarskynlik ook die Republikeinse kandidaat in die presidentsverkiesing word.

Agt keer in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis is 'n president tydens sy amp dood of vermoor en is hy vervang deur sy vise -president, miskien die bekendste toe die vermoorde Abraham Lincoln opgevolg is deur Andrew Johnson. Harry Truman word president nadat Franklin Roosevelt kort voor die einde van Die Tweede Wêreldoorlog en Lyndon Johnson is as president ingesweer nadat John F. Kennedy in 1963 in Dallas vermoor is. Mees onlangs het vise -president Gerald Ford in Augustus 1974 die Amerikaanse president geword toe Richard Nixon bedank het voordat hy weens die Watergate -skandaal beskuldig kon word.

Dit is natuurlik moontlik dat siekte of 'n ander tragedie of skandaal die Amerikaanse president en hul visepresident kan tref, sodat die Amerikaanse grondwet die Amerikaanse kongres mag gee om die opvolging te bepaal as albei die leiers van die Withuis ongeskik raak of sterf in die kantoor. Die wet op presidensiële opvolging van 1947, wat laas in 2006 hersien is, het bepaal wie na die vise -president president sou word, op voorwaarde dat die persoon wat die amp beklee, president kan wees - hulle moet 'n 'natuurlik gebore burger' van die VSA wees, woonagtig wees in die VSA vir 14 jaar, en wees 35 of ouer. Tweede en vierde in die ry om die Amerikaanse president te wees, is twee lede van die kongres self: Speaker van die Huis van Verteenwoordigers, gevolg deur die president Pro Tempore van die senaat. Die lys gaan dan deur die 15 amptenare op kabinetsvlak in die Amerikaanse uitvoerende tak, begin met die minister van buitelandse sake en eindig met die minister van binnelandse veiligheid.

Die erfopvolging het soms verwarring veroorsaak. Op 30 Maart 1981, toe president Ronald Reagan in die hospitaal opgeneem is nadat hy in 'n sluipmoordaanval geskiet is, het die minister van buitelandse sake, Alexander Haig, beroemd aan die perskorps van die Withuis gesê dat hy volgende aan die beurt was ná vise -president George HW Bush en dat & quotI'm hier in beheer, terwyl hy wag dat Bush terugkeer na die Withuis. Trouens, hy was slegs 4de in die ranglys vir die presidentskap na die kongresleiers Tip O'Neill en Strom Thurmond.

In die huidige situasie is dit onwaarskynlik dat die president en die vise -president terselfdertyd sou sterf as gevolg van die koronavirus. As Pence wel president word, sal hy waarskynlik 'n nuwe vise -president aanstel, met goedkeuring van die kongres, wat dan 2de in die opvolgingslyn word. As dit nie betyds gebeur het nie en die opvolging aan die Speaker van die Huis oorgedra word, kan daar egter 'n grondwetlike krisis wees, aangesien die Republikeinse Party ongetwyfeld woedend sou wees teen die vyand van die Demokratiese Party, Nancy Pelosi, die huidige speaker, selfs president word as dit in 'n waarnemende hoedanigheid was.

Daar is soms risiko's vir die opvolging wat verminder moet word. Gedurende tye van groot krisis soos die terreuraanvalle van 11 September 2001 of op tye wanneer die hele Amerikaanse regering op een plek bymekaarkom, soos 'n presidensiële inhuldiging of 'n jaarlikse staatsrede, ten minste een lid van die president Die kabinet word na 'n veilige plek geneem, weg van die hoofgebeurtenis. As die president, vise-president, speaker van die huis, senaat Pro Tempore en al die kabinetslede tegelyk vermoor is, sou hierdie sogenaamde 'aangewese oorlewende' president word.

Dit lyk onwaarskynlik dat 'n aangewese oorlewende tans uit die kabinetslede genoem is, maar as infeksie deur Trump se kabinet sou begin versprei, is dit moontlik dat enige lid wat negatief getoets is vir koronavirus dan in volledige isolasie geplaas kan word sodat hulle kan opkom as waarnemende president of inderdaad president as almal in die erfopvolging ongeskik raak of sterf.

Skielik lyk die storielyne van die Kiefer Sutherland TV-reeks Designated Survivor minder vergesog en ondenkbaar.

Opgedateer 2 Oktober 2020

Dr Trevor McCrisken is medeprofessor in Amerikaanse politiek en internasionale studies in Warwick. Sy navorsingsbelangstellings is in die Amerikaanse buitelandse beleid en Amerikaanse politiek en kultuur.

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Die teks in hierdie artikel is gelisensieer onder 'n Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Vir wie is Obama se aangewese oorlewende vir vanaand?

Vir vanaand se toespraak oor die staatsrede, is die sekretaris van vervoer, Anthony Foxx, aangewys as die aangewese oorlewende. Dit klink reguit uit 'n spioenieroman, maar die aangewese oorlewende is 'n ware rol in Washington. For momentous occasions that require the president and pretty much every top-level official in the cabinet to be in one room, the designated survivor stands by, heavily guarded at a remote and undisclosed location, prepared to take over as president in the event that something happens to the nation's top leaders. A prime example of such an occasion is the State of the Union address, where Obama and the entire presidential line of success will be in attendance. But still, what exactly does all of this mean, and how did it come about?

Under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, if the incumbent president dies, leaves office, or is removed from office, the appointment of an acting president follows a specific line of succession. Under the act, the order is as follows: president, vice president, the speaker of the house (could anyone really get used to saying "President Boehner"?), and then the president pro tempore of the Senate, who is currently Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. There are even contingencies after the Senate president pro tempore, but the chances of all of these figures becoming available are extremely low.

But not impossible. And that's where the designated survivor comes in. In the case of a catastrophic event that kills everyone in the presidential line of succession — a fear that's been amplified since 9/11 — the designated survivor would step in and take over as acting president. It's a morbid concept, but as the old saying goes, "Better safe than sorry." Here is everything you need to know about the most important person we hope to never need.

Who Is Qualified To Be Designated Survivor?

The designated survivor is a member of the cabinet selected by the White House chief of staff to keep away from the Capitol during an event that requires top cabinet members to attend. Only cabinet members who are eligible to become president are chosen, meaning natural-born citizens who are over the age of 35.

What Will Happen To The Designated Survivor During The Speech?

During the speech, the designated survivor will be provided presidential-level security, taken to an undisclosed location at a safe distance from the Capitol, and accompanied by a military aide holding the nuclear football, which contains the president's nuclear launch codes. In other words, the designated survivor is essentially the most important person in America for those few hours.

What's The History Of The Practice?

The concept of the designated survivor dates back to the Cold War, when the U.S. was in constant anxiety over a potential nuclear attack. If you think about it, the profession has "doomsday" written all over it. The practice was somewhat lax between the end of the Cold War and 9/11. According to ABC News, one past designated survivor hosted a pizza party at the White House during the State of the Union address. But after 9/11, security surrounding the designated survivor was significantly increased.

Who Are Some Of Obama's Past Designated Survivors?

Some of Obama's past designated survivors include Attorney General Eric Holder, Energy Secretaries Ernest Moniz and Steven Chu, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

How Does The Designated Survivor Prepare To Become President?

For security reasons, the exact procedures of the designated survivor are kept secret, but past individuals have revealed that they were shown the White House Situation Room and briefed on continuity of government.

One designated survivor for George W. Bush, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson, described his process to ABC News. After being taken out of Washington by helicopter to an undisclosed location, Nicholson was briefed and then served a "fabulous meal" by the White House Mess. He added:


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@simrin - I do not know if there is a requirement in age as far as cabinet posts goes, but if there is not I would assume that they would simply pass it on to the next person.

I know for sure that the President and Vice-President are required by law to be at least thirty five years of age to even take office so this portion of the line of succession is covered.

However, It is possible for the Senate Pro-Tempore to be less than thirty five years old, but this is highly unlikely due to the tradition of the position going to the most senior member of the controlling party of the Senate.

I think that there is probably a law that requires heads of cabinet posts to be a certain age but if there are not I am sure they have it covered with some by law. SteamLouis November 1, 2011

What happens if the designated survivor was not born in the US or if he or she is not over 35 years old?

Someone who does not fit these qualifications cannot act as president so are cabinet officers who don't have these qualifications disqualified to be a designated survivor? Or is there an exception made for them in the event of a catastrophe? discographer November 1, 2011

As far as I know, "designed survivor" is also used to refer to people who survive after the death of a family member and who is given a pension because of it.

Military personnel and some other kinds of employees have a designated beneficiary who will receive a pension from the government if that person is killed while on duty. It's a way to make sure that family members of a serviceman or woman will be cared for after their death. turquoise October 31, 2011

This is a great idea, I don't think it exists in many other countries. I hope such a circumstance never arises where the designated survivor needs to take over as President, but it's still a good idea to be prepared for the worst.

I don't remember which country, but didn't many of the statesmen, including the President of a European country die recently in a plane crash? I remember the country was in turmoil for several days because they had no idea who would take over.

I'm glad we already have a system in place to make sure that the Office of the President and decision makers in Congress are never left empty. Leadership is more necessary during a national security crisis than at any other time. jholcomb October 30, 2011

@Kat919 - I like Alas, Babylon, too, but of course that was a little bit of a different situation the wasn't a designated survivor because the attack had happened without warning. She was just the only one who happened to survive.

I was a big fan of the TV show The West Wing and I remember a great little scene where President Bartlett is talking to the designated survivor, the gy who's going to spend the event sitting in a secure bunker. I think it was before the State of the Union address or something like that. He was giving this poor Secretary of Energy or Transportation or whatever a crash course in being president and what to do if the entire rest of the government was wiped out.

The line I remember is he says, "Do you have a best friend? Is he smarter than you? That's your Chief of Staff." It's just funny how seriously President Bartlett takes the whole thing! Kat919 October 30, 2011

I didn't realize that a senator and representative were also often sequestered! I guess that makes sense because a president by himself isn't much good. I'm not sure I understand how that really works, though, because the Speaker of the House and president pro tem are positions elected by the House and Senate, not appointed.

This is one of those ideas that make for good fiction. I can think of two different works that both involve a low-ranking Cabinet officer becoming president. (After all, they're all in the line of succession, unless they happen to be foreign-born or too young to be president. I guess Madeline Albright, for instance, was never the designated survivor.) I'm thinking of the novel Alas, Babylon, which a lot of high schools teach, and the remade TV series Battlestar Galactica. In both cases, the new president was a woman who had been the Secretary of Education.


What is a designated survivor and why will Biden not have one for his address to Congress?

There won't be a designated survivor for Joe Biden's speech - because one is not necessary due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“There does not need to be a designated survivor because the Cabinet will be watching from their offices or home, but they will not be joining him for the speech,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, according to Politico.

There will only be about 200 lawmakers, officials, and staff present for Biden's speech before a joint session of Congress.

Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will attend, according to Politico.

The outlet reports that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen would be the de facto designated survivor - if she is not present at the speech.

"There are only a handful of occasions when America’s top leaders gather in the same room," according to History.com.

Most of those events involve the annual State of the Union speech by the president.

"As awful as it is to imagine, a targeted nuclear strike or terrorist attack on the Capitol building during such an event could wipe out nearly the entire leadership of the US federal government in one fell swoop," according to History.com.

"The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility of establishing a line of succession if the president or vice president die or are removed from office.

Mees gelees in News

FACING JUSTICE

NO BASIS IN FACT

TRAGIC MISTAKE

DEADLY TRAGEDY

STORY TO TELL

UFOS ARE REAL

"But there’s nothing in the founding documents addressing a so-called �pitation strike' in which virtually all top-tier federal officials are killed at once."

As a result, for the last several decades presidents choose a designated survivor - a member of the cabinet - to sit out the State of the Union and other significant speeches.

A television series - starring Kiefer Sutherland and titled Designated Survivor - imagined that worst-case scenario.

More from The Sun

Matt Hancock & Gina Coladangelo pals since UNI before she scored health gig


Who’s In Charge of America After a Catastrophe? Who Knows?

Television’s 'Designated Survivor' imagines a hapless cabinet secretary becoming president. The truth about succession is way less certain.

Journalist Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg) is the author of The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War, and a former editor of POLITICO Magazine. Sy volgende boek, Raven Rock, about the U.S. government’s Doomsday plans, will be published in May 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]

The “designated survivor” has long been one of Washington’s favorite parlor games—imagining what America would be like if a catastrophe befell the capital during a State of the Union and the most powerful office in the land were delivered unwittingly to the cabinet official who had been hidden away as the president-of-last-resort. What would America have looked like under President Jeh Johnson (2016)? President Ernest Moniz (2014)? Or even President Alberto Gonzales (2007)? And then there are the weirder examples: In 2001, had a catastrophe occurred during the inauguration, Americans expecting Republican President George W. Bush might have instead found themselves with a Democratic president named Larry Summers.

The idea is startling enough to fuel a new Kiefer Sutherland TV drama, Aangewese Survivor, in which the 24 actor plays a hapless Housing and Urban Development Secretary who finds himself ushered into the White House after a catastrophic attack on the Capitol.

You might assume that for something as important as presidential succession, the world's most powerful nation has it down to a science. That’s the scenario that Hollywood lays out in the show premiere tonight: Sutherland, who just minutes before had been headed to political obscurity in a low-profile ambassadorship, is instead ushered into the White House by an efficient set of government minders.

But in reality, the system is far less clearly delineated, and dogged by questions that are likely to begin the moment it’s pressed into action. I’ve spent the last three years researching a forthcoming book on the government’s doomsday plans, and one fact that emerged starkly is just how uncertain the whole process is. The system of presidential succession is relatively new, and in many cases it's surprisingly unclear who becomes president. As legal scholar Akhil Amar, who had long studied the legalities of succession, told Congress during one hearing after 9/11, “The current Presidential succession Act, 3 U.S.C. section 19, is in my view a disastrous statute, an accident waiting to happen. It should be repealed and replaced.”

Indeed, the presidential succession plan is the rare Washington story that’s even stranger—and contains even more unexpected twists—than the Hollywood version. For one thing, the system, known as “continuity of government,” is vastly larger and more complicated than most people realize. While attention usually focuses on the main presidential successor, during high-profile events a much broader shadow government often waits in secure undisclosed locations. During President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates was the designated presidential successor, James Clapper—then the undersecretary of defense for intelligence—waited out the swearing-in at the Pentagon’s secret Cold War bunker in Pennsylvania known as Raven Rock, ready to step into Gates’ role as defense secretary if the need arose.

But the even weirder thing is what might happen after a disaster. In fact, had Gates emerged from a cave to claim the presidency on January 20, 2009, it might’ve only marked the opening gambit in a legal drama that could have played out for days, weeks, or even months as a variety of officials from all three branches of government argued over who could rightfully claim the presidency.

For about three hours the designated survivor teeters on the edge of becoming the most important person in the world. That moment in the spotlight—or, more accurately, far from the spotlight—can be brief. The night in 1997 Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman served as the “designated survivor” during one of President Clinton’s addresses to Congress, Glickman went to New York for the night, with a security detail and the nation’s nuclear codes in tow, only to find that as soon as the speech was finished—and the need for a successor over—the security apparatus abandoned him, leaving him in the rain to catch his own taxi home.

The idea of a “designated survivor” was formalized by the Carter and Reagan administrations, as White House officials worried about nuclear missiles aboard Soviet submarines that lay off the Atlantic Coast and could have devastated the capital with barely 10 minutes’ notice.

President Carter’s White House Military Office in April 1980 had instituted new procedures with FEMA to monitor the attendance of all presidential successors “at major, publicly announced functions outside the White House complex.” While such gatherings of the U.S. leadership had been commonplace in the past—at inaugurations, states of the union, state funerals and the like—the rising tensions of the Cold War made government planners questions their wisdom. “The situation provides an inviting target to enemy attack or terrorist activity, and represents an unnecessary risk to national leadership,” the White House Military Office wrote, outlining the new procedures.

The 25th Amendment—itself a modern relic of the Cold War and fears of nuclear attack—lays out a seemingly clear line for presidential succession. It flows from the vice president to the House speaker to the Senate president pro tem, then through the cabinet in the order in which the departments were created—a quirk that itself makes the Department of Homeland Security secretary, one of the people best qualified to actually assume the presidency in a disaster, actually last in line.

When all those in the line of succession were gathered in a high-profile setting, FEMA was to notify the White House and an aide would recommend to the president which qualified cabinet successors should skip the event. (Constitutionally, foreign-born cabinet secretaries, like current Interior Secretary Sally Jewell—a Brit!—don’t serve in the line of succession.) It falls to a little-known branch of FEMA, the Central Locator Service, to track the whereabouts of the successors daily, and once a month, after the fact, audit a single day to determine whether it had correctly known where each cabinet member was.

The new White House and FEMA procedures got their first test at Reagan’s inaugural. The incoming and outgoing administrations had agreed that Carter’s outgoing defense secretary, Harold Brown, would remain in office past the standard noon departure and ensure that there was a national leader in case something catastrophic happened at the ceremony. “Both sides agreed that something should be done,” a FEMA official explained later. Brown only resigned later on inauguration day once the Reagan team was firmly in control of government’s levers.

The “designated survivor” program would grow more formal in the years to come—the chosen Cabinet member would receive a Secret Service detail for the length of the event and a White House military aide would arrive for the evening with one of the emergency briefcases known as the “Football,” which contain instructions on how to access the nation’s nuclear weapons codes—in case the unthinkable happened and the designated survivor needed to be ready to launch an attack.

The “designated survivor” program, though, raised a new problem: How would the “designated survivor” prove he or she was actually now the president? The government lacked simple procedures for figuring out how to double-check that person’s identity after a decapitation event. Is the person at the other end of the phone really Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (State of the Union 2012)?

“One of the things we discovered is that there was no authentication system,” Reagan’s first FEMA head Louis Giuffrida said in 1981. “If a successor got on the horn and said, ‘I’m the successor,’ and somebody said ‘Prove it,’ [no one could]. So we’re working on that, and FEMA will be the authenticating mechanism to say, ‘Yeah, this guy’s for real. The president’s gone and we don’t know where the vice president is…and this is the man.’”

In the years ahead, FEMA and the White House worked out an elaborate (and classified) system through which a successor would be able to confirm his or her identity, and in subsequent years the “designated survivors” became a common part of Washington lore, and often yielded amusing stories from those who served. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala recounted the story of how she watched the 1996 State of the Union from the White House and ordered pizza. “I took my staff with me and I ordered pizza for them in the Roosevelt Room,” she said years later. “I went to the Oval Office and for one minute sat in the president's chair and then I got up respectfully and went to watch the speech with my staff.”

Yet, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, a bipartisan commission examining the nation’s succession planning found that odd—and troubling—quirks persisted that could lead to serious constitutional quandaries in just the sort of situation that Kiefer Sutherland’s character, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Tom Kirkman, experiences in the TV show.

As clear as the line of succession may appear on paper, legally it would likely prove a much messier proposition the further down the list you go and cabinet officials become involved. And it could get particularly tangled if the president or vice president is only “incapacitated,” rather than killed outright.

It’s not entirely clear, even, that the House speaker or the Senate president pro tem could legally serve as president. Republican Senator John Coryn raised the question during the debate in the early 2000s of what would happen if a speaker of the House or Senate president pro tem ascended to the presidency—and then was challenged by the secretary of state who argued that the legislators didn’t count as constitutional officers, making them ineligible to serve in the presidency. “Believe it or not, the secretary actually has a rather strong case, in my view,” Cornyn said. No less an authority than James Madison himself had argued that the congressional leaders were legislators, not constitutional officers, and thus ineligible to succeed to the presidency. As Cornyn said, “Who is the president? Whose orders should be followed by our armed forces, by our intelligence agencies and by domestic law enforcement bureaus? If law suits are filed, will courts accept jurisdiction? How long will they take to rule? How will they rule? And how will their rulings be respected?”

In the years after 9/11, the so-called “Continuity of Government Commission,” pushed by American Enterprise Institute scholar Norm Ornstein, who has assumed the role of Washington’s succession Cassandra and has spent much of the last 20 years raising troubling questions about the 25th Amendment’s ambiguities, confronted one of the strangest and most nettlesome phrases in “COG” operations. It’s a seemingly unnecessary aside in the language guiding presidential succession known as the “supplantation clause,” which held that a “prior-entitled” presidential successor, that is someone who ranks higher in the official line of succession, could supplant a lower-level Cabinet official who was serving as “acting president.”

For instance, in a situation where the president and the congressional leadership was killed, but the vice president only incapacitated, the secretary of state would presumably serve as “acting president” until the vice president was able to resume his or her responsibility and become the president. But the “supplantation clause” inserted unhelpful ambiguity: Could, after Congress reconstitutes itself, a newly elected speaker of the House or Senate president pro tem insist on replacing the secretary of state even after that person had assumed the office of “acting president”? Could a newly elected speaker supplant a president pro tem? Might the presidency swing wildly in a few days, at the height of a crisis, between different officials and different political parties?

The Continuity of Government Commission tried also to tackle an ongoing problem with presidential succession that had dogged the debate for decades: Even with the idea of designated survivors for major high-profile gatherings and all the evacuation systems in place, on a day-to-day basis everyone in the presidential line of succession lives and works in a tiny radius extending a few miles around the White House and the Capitol. “In the nightmare scenario of terrorists detonating a nuclear device, it is possible that everyone in the line of succession might be killed,” the commission’s executive director, John Fortier, told Congress during one hearing. “Imagine the aftermath: a parade of generals, governors, and under secretaries claiming to be in charge.” It would be the chaos of Al Haig’s “I’m in control here” statement during the Reagan administration writ larger and more fraught.

One proposal, floated during the post-9/11 discussions, would have created a “First Secretary,” a Cabinet official who would have been first-in-line to the presidency after the vice president and whose sole responsibility would be to remain outside of Washington and be the designated survivor to head the shadow government if a catastrophic event destroyed the capital. It would be a job, in essence, to remain in an “undisclosed location” until the worst moment of American history.

Such questions make the nation, under existing rules, particularly vulnerable during presidential inaugurations. The terms of the president and vice president constitutionally expire at noon on January 20th, but their cabinets remained in office until either a resignation is tendered or a successor is confirmed by the Senate—which usually doesn’t happen for hours or even days after an inauguration.

In 2001, as Fortier, the commission leader explained, a terror attack that targeted George W. Bush’s inauguration, might have left the nation with a president carried over from the previous administration who would then serve until Congress had a speaker or president pro tem who would “bump” out the president and serve the rest of the four-year term of office. Fortier said, “A country expecting Republican George W. Bush to take office would have found themselves with a Democratic President Larry Summers. As secretary of the treasury, Summers was the highest-ranking Clinton Cabinet member eligible to serve as President.”


Kiefer Sutherland is back to save the United States of America! No, not as Jack Bauer, but as Thomas Kirkman, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who is the “Designated Survivor,” i.e., the cabinet member selected not to attend the State of the Union Address at which virtually the entire United States government is destroyed.

Just in case you are curious about the legal accuracy of the show, take a look at the Presidential Succession Act of 1947. If the President and the Vice-President are dead, incapacitated or otherwise unable to exercise the powers of the Office of President, here is the order of succession :

  1. Speaker of the House
  2. President pro tempore of the Senate
  3. Secretary of State
  4. Secretary of the Treasury
  5. Secretary of Defense
  6. Prokureur-generaal
  7. Secretary of the Interior
  8. Secretary of Agriculture
  9. Secretary of Commerce
  10. Secretary of Labor
  11. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  12. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  13. Secretary of Transportation
  14. Secretary of Energy
  15. Secretary of Education
  16. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  17. Secretary of Homeland Security.

I’ve enjoyed the first two episodes of the show. Kyk daarna!

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2 Comments on ““Designated Survivor” And The Presidential Succession Act”

The real constitutional quirk here is the fact that the Senate president pro tempore – a near-meaningless office, generally given to the Senator who has served the longest – is THIRD IN LINE to the presidency. Today, Orrin Hatch could be president if Obama, Biden, and Paul Ryan all got bird flu or ebola. Orrin Hatch is in his 80s. Years ago, Robert Byrd was the president pro tempore and if memory serves he died in his 90s. If anything in the constitution needs to be mopped up, this does. I’m enjoying the program too, Dan!

Since Dr. Ben Carson was Chief of Housing and Development, is he the new Designated Survivor?


Kyk die video: Degree computation of the Prym map of triple cyclic coverings over genus 4 curves - part 1