25th Amendment Scenario

Some guy at the gym painted this oddball scenario:

1) Hillary Clinton gets elected
2) Her Vice President dies or resigns
3) She appoints Bill Clinton as VP and he gets confirmed.
4) She dies or resigns or is impeached and convicted.

Alternate scenario:
4) Hillary becomes temporarily incapacitated.

Can Bill Clinton become the President?

I say no way.  He's served his two terms.  He can never hold the office of President again, for even one day, under any set of bizarre circumstances.  Please confirm.

The next quirk in the scenario:  
If the VP is ineligible, does the Speaker of the House (undoubtedly a Fat Evil Republican who looks like John Goodman) automatically take office, or is there a constitutional crisis?

Please answer the questions, but feel free to digress on other 25th Amendment scenarios.  If you want to malign the Clintons, that's fine with me, too.
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DanRollinsAsked:
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ozoCommented:
The 22nd amendment says
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.
It doesn't say appointed.
But the 12th amendment says
But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
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behendersonCommented:
I think Bill Clintons Time in office is just another page in the history books now
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ozoCommented:
Another scenario:
Cheney is impeached
W appoints H W as VP
But that has the same problem
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Jason ThompsonSenior UX DesignerCommented:
Correct.  Bill Clinton can never be elected, anointed, appointed, or be considered in line for succession to the Presidency again.  And according the the 12th amendment, he cannot be elected or confirmed as Vice President either.

I would assume that if Bill Clinton were somehow elected as Speaker of the House (second in line), and we lost both Pres and VP, then we would skip him and move to the third in line (President Pro Tempore of the Senate).
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BobSiemensCommented:
<<<Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2. 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 to the States by the Congress.>>>

It's very clear that the operative word here is 'Elected'.
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behendersonCommented:
Well Slate seems to agree with you Bob..

http://www.slate.com/id/1006013/
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SunBowCommented:
> Can Bill Clinton become the President?

No. While it is true that they can add anyone that they want to after the line of succession thing goes, the nominiee must be qualified and fit all requirements. For example, they can nominate any of us here who are true blue citizens, but we have to be old enough. She cannot nominate her daughter, for example, or a newborn who has Bill Clinton as guardian/advisor. Once a person has completed two terms, they have become inelligible.

> I say no way.  He's served his two terms.  He can never hold the office of President again, for even one day,

Agreed.

> under any set of bizarre circumstances.  Please confirm.

hmm
Hypothetical - let us try another one. Suppose he gets elected to congress and becomes part of the actual line of succession. Then all those ahead of him become inelligible, whether through death or whatever. Will he move up the designated ladder of succession? Interesting possibility. I do not think so but maybe we should review the language in search of a loophole.
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SunBowCommented:
Graphixer > I would assume that if Bill Clinton were somehow elected as Speaker of the House (second in line), and we lost both Pres and VP, then we would skip him and move to the third in line (President Pro Tempore of the Senate).

Yeah, that's like my hypothetical. Wondering then as well, can it be that he is actually inelligible to be in line of succession to moot that question, I think they used to be able to move from president to senate, but can they now after the Washington/FDR amendment? Even so, it takes congressional approval, right? Could it be possible that they would? Suppose time of war invoked, take for example the notions of some for a 3rd term for a Bush, using a wartime excuse whether it be terrorist or insurgent or those darn South Americans or French.
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DanRollinsAuthor Commented:
ozo,
>> Cheney is impeached / W appoints H W as VP/...same problem

If memory serves me, G.H.W. Bush server only one term.  AFAIK, there is no legal impediment to him serving one more term.  But as a practical matter, he could never get the nomination.

BobSiemens,
According to the analysis section of this link:
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/15feb20061000/www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/pdf2002/040.pdf
>> By its terms, the Twenty-Second Amendment bars only the election of two-term
    Presidents, and this prohibition would not prevent someone who had twice
    been elected President from succeeding to the office after having been
    elected or appointed Vice-President.

but in conjunction with the 12th, it does seem impossible for a two-term President to ever become a VP.

One thing I hadn't noticed before was the "two-year" phrasing in the 22nd.   I believe that G. Ford sat as president for a bit more than two years, so he'd have been ineligible for more than one additional term.  But temporary ascension as provided for in the 25th Amendment -- say for a few days while the President was incapacitated -- would *not* disqualify that person from later serving two terms.

bhenderson,
The slate.com article http://www.slate.com/id/1006013/ does seem to spell it out quite clearly.  Thanks.
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ozoCommented:
> under any set of bizarre circumstances.
22nd amendment repealed
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Jason ThompsonSenior UX DesignerCommented:
Snopes just posted a similar scenario on their site:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/president.asp

Their position is that the scenario is highly unlikely, but if something like this did occur, it's an interpretive matter that would ultimately have to be decided by the judicial branch.
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BigRatCommented:
>>Can Bill Clinton become the President?

Would he want to?
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DanRollinsAuthor Commented:
That's hardly relevant.  In such a hypothetical, the issue is the constitutionality of the ascension.  If the next-in-line for succession did not want the office, he or she could simply resign.

Anyway, there is no doubt that he would.  The President gets his or her choice of interns.  This time, he'd do it right and give Hillary the job, and the kneepads.
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behendersonCommented:
Thanks Dan!  

I think the answer may be that it has yet to be tested by the Courts and it depends upon your interperetation of the interaction between the 22nd and 12th Ammendments.  From a pragmatic standpoint with the current court there is no way in hell a Democrat could do it.
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