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, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson, a Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, draws on his experience as an official in the presidential line of succession. Secretary Johnson served as the “designated survivor” for the 2016 State of the Union Address and the 2017 Inauguration.