It may be coming time for the country to fully address a very polarizing topic: President Biden’s mental health. The conversation about the president’s mental health actually started when Trump was in office.
Unfit for Office
After his inauguration in 2017, Donald Trump was faced with claims that he was not fit to be the president due to his mental health issues. In January 2018, he asked his doctor to administer a cognitive test to put the topic to rest.
On top of the mental health concerns, people were also attempting to have him removed from office based on these concerns. Members of Congress asked the Congressional Research Service to provide an overview of the 25th amendment and its history and purpose.
Another motive for requesting this information was to understand the process for removing a president from office.
In December 2019, 350 psychiatrists and mental health professionals signed a petition claiming that Trump’s mental health was “rapidly deteriorating.” The accusations and claims picked up momentum after the 2020 election and the January 6th incident.
A group of Democrats attempted to create a “presidential disability review body” in 2017 to help with the impeachment process, but they ultimately failed.
Related: Is Biden’s Mental Capacity a Serious Issue?
Can Biden Pull Through?
We have frequently seen Biden seemingly wander off after a speech without knowing where he was going and needing someone to direct him. He sometimes seems confused when giving speeches as well and loses his train of thought.
This behavior is not unusual for older people, and Biden is right up there with them, turning 80 this month. There are quite a few seniors who are still intellectually vigorous, but Biden isn’t the average senior. He is the leader of the free world, and expectations for him and his mental capacity are different than for normal people.
Related: Joe Biden Hits Record High Approval Rating Thanks to This Surprising Demographic
Can The 25th Amendment Be Invoked?
Congress proposed the 25th amendment in 1965, and it was ratified by the states in 1967. Article II, Section I, Clause 6 of the Constitution says that the vice president will assume the “powers and duties” of the presidency in the event of the president’s “inability” to serve. The Article, however, does not precisely define what inability means.
After the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, Congress made the conditions and process for transferring power more specific, hence the 25th amendment.
The amendment is comprised of four sections. The first section re-states that the vice president becomes the president upon the death or resignation of the president. The second section explains who will take over for the vice president when they step into the presidency.
The third section details how the president can voluntarily transfer power to the vice president if the president is very sick or is undergoing a medical procedure. The fourth section is the only section that has never had to be implemented.
It provides for the involuntary replacement of the president when the “Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide” decide that the “President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
It seems unlikely at this time that Vice President Harris would take such a step.
It seems more likely that Democrats would do their best to discourage Biden from running for re-election. If need be, they could use the 25th Amendment provision as leverage to encourage him to agree.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.