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Does the Constitution limit the ability of a twice-before-elected President to serve as Vice-President? This question presents an intricate constitutional puzzle, the solution of which requires working through four separate sub-inquiries: Is a two-term President wholly ineligible for the vice-presidency? Is such a person barred from election to the vice-presidency even if that person remains appointable to that office? Is a twice-before-elected President, even if properly placed in the vice-presidency, incapable of succeeding to the presidency? And if such a succession occurs, must the resulting term of service as President expire after two years? This Article addresses each of these questions by exploring the implications of the decisive constitutional texts—Article II’s enumeration of presidential qualifications, the Twelfth Amendment’s treatment of qualifications for the vice-presidency, and the post-service limitations placed on two-term Presidents by the Twenty-Second Amendment. Some analysts have argued that the Constitution forecloses the possibility that a twice-before-elected President can hold (or at least secure election to) the vice-presidential office. However, the text and history of the relevant constitutional provisions point to the opposite conclusion: A twice-before-elected President may become Vice-President, either through appointment or through election, and thereafter succeed from that office to the presidency for the full remainder of the pending term.


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8 Sep 2022
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  • Subject
    • Constitutional Law

    • Politics

    • President/Executive Department

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 56

  • Issue
    • 4

  • Pagination
    • 1287

  • Date submitted

    8 September 2022