On Aug. 27, 1787, John Dickinson of Delaware, a member of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, raised a ticklish question relating to the matter of succession in the event of a President's disability. "What is the extent of the term 'disability,' " asked Dickinson, "and who is to be the judge of it?" The question was swiftly referred to a committee where it stayed.
Last week, 177 years later, the U.S. Congress came close to providing an answer. By a vote of 368 to 29, the House of Representatives passed a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment which provides that: