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An Overview of the 20th Amendment

20th Amendment

What is the 20th Amendment?

“Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.”

The 20th Amendment Defined

Date Proposed

The 20th Amendment was proposed on March 2nd, 1932

Date Passed

The 20th Amendment was passed on January 23rd, 1933

President of the United States

Herbert Hoover was the President of the United States during the ratification of the 20th Amendment

Stipulations of the 20th Amendment

The 20th Amendment illustrates the statutes with regard to the terms of service undertaken by elected officials within the Federal Government – this includes the President, Vice President, and members of Congress

The text of the 20th Amendment mandates that Presidential - and Vice Presidential – term endings were moved from March to January 20th subsequent to the previous election

The text of the 20th Amendment mandates that Congressional terms – consisting of the House of Representative, as well as the Senate – were adjusted to end on January 3rd at noon

Congress is required to meet – at least one time – on an annual basis; this meeting time is expressed as sharing the same day as the ending of Congressional terms

In the event of the death of the President of the United States, the Vice President will assume the position of presidency; Presidential-elects who die in an untimely fashion - prior to the beginning of their expected term – may be replaced by the Vice President-elect

The Electoral College is granted priority with regard to the selection process of the replacement Presidential candidate

20th Amendment Facts

The 20th Amendment allows for Congress to appoint a replacement for a deceased presidential elect in the event that the Vice President-elect has not received approval or the Electoral college has proven to be unable to make a decision

The House of Representatives may be responsible for the appointment of the President – the Senate may be responsible for the appointment of the Vice President

States Ratifying the 20th Amendment

1. Alabama

2. Arizona

3. Arkansas

4. California

5. Colorado

6. Connecticut

7. Delaware

8. Florida

9. Georgia

10. Idaho

11. Illinois

12. Indiana

13. Iowa

14. Kansas

15. Kentucky

16. Louisiana

17. Maine

18. Maryland

19. Massachusetts

20. Michigan

21. Minnesota

22. Mississippi

23. Missouri

24. Montana

25. Nebraska

26. Nevada

27. New Hampshire

28. New Jersey

29. New Mexico

30. New York

31. North Carolina

32. North Dakota

33. Ohio

34. Oklahoma

35. Oregon

36. Pennsylvania

37. Rhode Island

38. South Carolina

39. South Dakota

40. Tennessee

41. Texas

42. Utah

43. Vermont

44. Virginia

45. Washington

46. West Virginia

47. Wisconsin

48. Wyoming

Statutes Associated with the 20th Amendment

Article 1, Section 4, Clause 2 of the Constitution initially addressed the applicable terms of Presidential candidates and Congressional members:

“The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.”(Article 1, Section4, Clause 2)

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