The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

President Biden Will Transfer Power To VP Harris During His Colonoscopy

Doubts about the Presidential Succession Act remain in light of a 1995 article by Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram Amar.


Today, President Biden will undergo a colonoscopy. During this procedure, he will temporarily transfer power to Vice President Harris. At this point, doubts about the Presidential Succession Act remain. Just yesterday, Eugene referenced those views, most prominently expressed by Professors Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram Amar in the Stanford Law Review. In the event of a double vacancy, it is unlikely that Secretary of State Blinken would contest Speaker Nancy Pelosi's claim to the presidency. But during the prior administration, a potential clash between Pelosi and then-Secretary Mike Pompeo could have triggered a constitutional crisis.

In the Atlantic, Seth Barrett Tillman and I expressed our disagreement with the Amars. Part nine of our ten-part series in the South Texas Law Review will explain our position on the Succession Clause in depth.