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An Overview of the 20th Amendment

An Overview of the 20th Amendment

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An Overview of the 20th Amendment

What is the 20th Amendment?

“Section 1. The terms of the President and 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.
Section 2. 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.
Section 3. 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 elect 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.
Section 4. 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.
Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.
Section 6. 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.”


The 20th Amendment Defined


Date Proposed
The 20th Amendment was proposed on March 2nd, 1932
Date Passed
The 20th Amendment was passed on January 23rd, 1933
President of the United States
Herbert Hoover was the President of the United States during the ratification of the 20th Amendment


Stipulations of the 20th Amendment
The 20th Amendment illustrates the statutes with regard to the terms of service undertaken by elected officials within the Federal Government – this includes the President, Vice President, and members of Congress
The text of the 20th Amendment mandates that Presidential – and Vice Presidential – term endings were moved from March to January 20th subsequent to the previous election
The text of the 20th Amendment mandates that Congressional terms – consisting of the House of Representative, as well as the Senate – were adjusted to end on January 3rd at noon
Congress is required to meet – at least one time – on an annual basis; this meeting time is expressed as sharing the same day as the ending of Congressional terms
In the event of the death of the President of the United States, the Vice President will assume the position of presidency; Presidential-elects who die in an untimely fashion – prior to the beginning of their expected term – may be replaced by the Vice President-elect
The Electoral College is granted priority with regard to the selection process of the replacement Presidential candidate


20th Amendment Facts
The 20th Amendment allows for Congress to appoint a replacement for a deceased presidential elect in the event that the Vice President-elect has not received approval or the Electoral college has proven to be unable to make a decision
The House of Representatives may be responsible for the appointment of the President – the Senate may be responsible for the appointment of the Vice President


States Ratifying the 20th Amendment
1. Alabama
2. Arizona
3. Arkansas
4. California
5. Colorado
6. Connecticut
7. Delaware
8. Florida
9. Georgia
10. Idaho
11. Illinois
12. Indiana
13. Iowa
14. Kansas
15. Kentucky
16. Louisiana
17. Maine
18. Maryland
19. Massachusetts
20. Michigan
21. Minnesota
22. Mississippi
23. Missouri
24. Montana
25. Nebraska
26. Nevada
27. New Hampshire
28. New Jersey
29. New Mexico
30. New York
31. North Carolina
32. North Dakota
33. Ohio
34. Oklahoma
35. Oregon
36. Pennsylvania
37. Rhode Island
38. South Carolina
39. South Dakota
40. Tennessee
41. Texas
42. Utah
43. Vermont
44. Virginia
45. Washington
46. West Virginia
47. Wisconsin
48. Wyoming

Statutes Associated with the 20th Amendment
Article 1, Section 4, Clause 2 of the Constitution initially addressed the applicable terms of Presidential candidates and Congressional members:
“The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.”(Article 1, Section4, Clause 2)

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