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, Americo Cinquegrana, a former Deputy Counsel for Intelligence Policy to the U.S. Attorney General, discusses the dangers of the Presidential Succession Act of 1947’s “bumping provision,” which provides that a Cabinet secretary acting as president can be supplanted by the Speaker of the House or Senate president pro tempore.