Document Type

Article

Comments

“Applications and Implications of the Twenty-fifth Amendment,” 47 Hous. L. Rev. 1 (2010)

Abstract

“Houston” is the first word of today’s Address—as it was the first word ever spoken on the lunar surface. This city, the moon, and the specific topic of today’s Address—the Twenty-fifth Amendment—are interconnected. Let me begin by tracing these interconnections. With apologies to Neil Armstrong, I will need to take more than “one small step,” but not much more. When Apollo 11 touched down on the moon, Neil Armstrong immediately relayed the news: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” The NASA program had achieved its amazing objective of landing a man on the moon in the decade of the 1960s—an objective defined in 1961 by President John Kennedy and pursued after Kennedy’s death by his Vice- President-turned-President, Lyndon Johnson. The two NASA space centers at the heart of this amazing project bear the names of these two Presidents: the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Johnson Space Center here in Houston. These extraordinary space centers, however, are hardly the only legacy of the Kennedy- Johnson years. The very transition from Kennedy to Johnson, a transition occasioned by the shocking events in another Texas city, precipitated a constitutional amendment in 1967 aimed at smoothing out the wrinkles in the constitutional fabric of presidential succession. That amendment provides the main topic for today’s Address.

Date of Authorship for this Version

2010

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