A media lesson on the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

I’ve watched every episode of the American television series “Madam Secretary” which is now half way through its fourth series, but I’ve only just caught up with the latest episode, partly because it was broadcast later in the UK than in the US and partly because I’ve been away in China.

This episode explores the circumstances in which the American President can be removed from office by invocation of the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution by a majority of the Cabinet. In fact, this provision has never been activated in real life and the programme  necessarily simplifies the situation, but the episode manages to examine the provision in a way which is both informative and entertaining.

You can read more about this episode here.

Interestingly, the issue of the 25th Amendment featured in an episode of “The West Wing” – my all-time favourite television series. In this fictional case, the President himself invokes the Amendment because of a perceived conflict of interest and, since there is no Vice-President at the time, command goes to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

You can read more about this episode here.


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