Latest News 09-07-2024 13:10 4 Views

What is VP Harris’ role in 25th Amendment and how would it work to remove Biden?: Experts

Concerns about President Biden’s mental sharpness and calls for him to drop out of the race have sparked questions about the 25th Amendment and what role Vice President Kamala Harris would play in triggering that process. 

The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare a president unfit for office. The vice president then becomes acting president. However, the section of the amendment specifically addressing this procedure has never been invoked.

Experts talked to Fox News Digital about what that unprecedented process would look like.

'The 25th amendment process was designed to be difficult.' Jonathan Turley, Fox News Media contributor and the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, told Fox News Digital. 'It is highly doubtful that Harris will play Biden's Brutus.'

'For one thing, it is unlikely to garner the needed support in the cabinet. To seek a removal and miss would leave Harris looking not just premature but positively predatorial. With the entire White House staff marshalled to support the President, it would be viewed as a mutinous moment.'

Several Republicans have called for the 25th Amendment to be triggered.

'What we are seeing is that they have decided to cover up for Joe Biden to protect their radical agenda as opposed to doing what is in the best interest of the American people,' GOP Rep. Byron Donalds recently told Fox News. 'If that resolution hits the floor, I would vote for it 100 percent. But at the end of the day, Kamala Harris and the cabinet, they have a responsibility to the American people. They have a constitutional duty to the American people.'

Turley said that 'given his statements in the last 24 hours' President Biden 'would contest the invocation in a disastrous standoff just before the Convention.'

'President Biden would quote Grover Cleveland that ‘the ship of Democracy, which has weathered all storms, may sink through the mutiny of those aboard,’' Turley added. 'Harris could then find herself overboard rather than the President.'

Zack Smith, a legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, also told Fox News Digital that the way the amendment is worded would allow Biden the opportunity to push back.

 'Under the terms of the Amendment, Harris couldn’t unilaterally act,' Smith explained.  

'Section 4 of the Amendment provides that when the ‘Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or such other body as Congress may by law provide,’ send written notice to the House and Senate that the President can’t do his job, the Vice President becomes Acting President.  Of course, Congress hasn’t provided for an alternative body, so it would fall to the 'principal officers of the executive departments,' which most understand to be cabinet secretaries — though there could be some ambiguity about who’s included in this group.'

'If the President disagrees with this determination, he can send written notice that he is able to resume his duties and will unless the group that removed him disagrees within four days,' Smith continued. 'Then, Congress must assemble within 48 hours and resolve the conflict within 21 days. Two-thirds of both houses would have to override the President’s claim that he is fit for office.'

Fox News Digital reached out to Harris's office inquiring whether she had noticed a visible mental decline from Biden and if the 25th Amendment has been discussed, but her office did not provide a response.


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