There are rumors going around that Congress may invoke the 25th Amendment against Joe Biden. This rarely used amendment means a lot of changes in the structure of the executive branch of our government. This amendment was created to protect the nation in the event a president is unable to perform their duties. It provides very specific rules on presidential succession. The first 2 months of the Biden administration have led many to wonder if he is mentally and physically fit enough to be the leader of the free world. Could the 25th Amendment be invoked? What would that mean for our country if this amendment is actually used and Biden is removed from office?
The history behind the amendment
The 25th Amendment was ratified in 1967. It provides a clear line of succession in the event the president becomes ill, resigns, or dies while in office. President Kennedy’s assassination showed the need for a clear and concise line of presidential succession. But Section 4 of this amendment provides a method of removing the president from office if they are thought to be unfit. This allows for removal based on mental or physical illness. Portions of the 25th Amendment have been invoked. But Section 4 has never been used. It would require the majority of Congress to formally state that they don’t believe him to be capable of his duties.
Could the 25th Amendment be invoked now?
The first few weeks of the Biden administration have been weird when you compare them to past administrations. Joe Biden seems to struggle with doing interviews and he can’t answer basic questions without stumbling over his words. Some people are concerned for his well-being and are wondering if he is actually physically and mentally fit for the job. To prove that he is actually unwell would likely be harder than you might think. Congress would have to prove that Biden is not fit for office through written statements. He would be able to counter with his own written statement. Then Congress would have the option to vote on invoking Section 4.
The 25th Amendment is very important. It was put into place so that our government would remain productive and stable in a time of emergency. The different parts of the amendment give a clear and concise method of transferring power in case a president is not able to remain in their position. While other sections of the amendment have been used in the past, Section 4 has yet to be invoked. It would probably be quite shocking to the American public to have a president removed because of mental or physical limitations. This is especially true when you consider that Joe Biden has barely been in office for 2 months.