National Affairs: No Inability

Article II of the U. S. Constitution states that "Congress may by law provide for the case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President." In 1886, the 49th Congress formally established Presidential succession among the Cabinet officers, based on seniority of their portfolios. Last week Franklin Roosevelt was 6,000 miles away in Buenos Aires, farthest any U. S. President had ever got from his White House desk. In hypothetical command of the nation was little old John Nance Garner...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!