The Constitution of the United States: Amendment 20 (20th Amendment)
Amendment XX. (Presidential, Congressional Terms)
Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933.
The terms of the President and the 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.
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.
Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US President
- The Constitution of the United States: Amendments 11-27, from The National Archives
- Twentieth Amendment – CRS Annotated Constitution
- Twentieth Amendment – Wikipedia
- Twentieth Amendment – Findlaw
- The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription – The National Archives
- United States Constitution: Texts, Commentaries, Historical Texts and Judicial Decisions – Law Library of Congress
- The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation – FDsys
- Chapter 8. P. Presidential Succession, in Congressional Procedure
- “Federalism and the Constitution: Limits on Congressional Power,” CRS Report RL30315 (31-page PDF)
- “Ratification of Amendments to the U.S. Constitution,” CRS Report 97-922 (7-page PDF)
Lame-Duck Lawmaking & the 20th Amendment
- Terms of Congress
- Mid-Term Election
- “7 stages of the office seeker“
- Vice President
- President Pro Tempore
- President of the Senate
- Presidential Succession
- President of the United States
- Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, Govinfo.gov
Oath of Office – House of Representatives – 113th Congress
- “Lame Duck Sessions of Congress,” CRS Report RL33677 (39-page PDF)
- “The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the Senate Floor,” CRS Report RS20722 (17-page PDF)
- “Presidential and Vice Presidential Succession,” CRS Report RL31761 (30-page PDF)
- “The President-Elect: Succession and Disability Issues During the Transition Period,” CRS Report RS22992 (8-page PDF)
- “Continuity of Operations (COOP) in the Executive Branch: Issues in the 109th Congress,” CRS Report RL32752 (26-page PDF)
- “Continuity of Congress: Enacted and Proposed Federal Statutes for Expedited Election to the House in Extraordinary Circumstances,” CRS Report RL32958 (16-page PDF)
- “Continuity of Government: Current Federal Arrangements and the Future,” CRS Report RS21089 (8-page PDF)
- Meta-EE and the Constitution Part 16: Twentieth Amendment
- Presidential Terms – Heritage Guide to the Constitution
Prior to his inauguration, FDR was almost killed by an assassin. Had he been killed, presumably vice president-elect John Nance Garner would have assumed the presidency.
A free download of our Pocket Constitution is available on Scribd.
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The Essential Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers
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