These remarks were delivered as part of the program entitled The Presidential Succession Act at 75: Praise It or Bury It?, which was held on April 6, 2022, and hosted by the Fordham University School of Law. The Presidential Succession Act sets out the presidential line of succession and other procedures for situations in which the president and vice president have both died, resigned, been removed, or become unable to discharge the presidency’s powers and duties. The Act also addresses succession scenarios before Inauguration Day. In light of the statute’s seventy-fifth anniversary, this program explored relevant history and analyzed whether reform to the statute is needed.
In these remarks, Dr. Joseph J. Fins, a Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College and a Visiting Professor at Yale Law School, examines the experience of Speaker of the House Carl Albert while he was first in the line of succession to the presidency during the Watergate scandal.