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Price: $38.50

Paperback 278 pp.
226 mm x 150 mm



Publication date:
January 2000

Imprint: Fordham University Press

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Managing Crisis

Presidential Disability and the 25th Amendment, Second Edition

Edited by Robert E. Gilbert

Series : Fordham University Press

In Managing Crisis: Presidential Disability and the 25th Amendment, the contributors explore not only the historical beginnings and the subsequent development of the Twentty-Fifth Amendment, but also its contributions to the health of the nation.

The Watergate scandal of 1973-1974 solidified the Amendment's strength when it was invoked after the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew, and again after Richard Nixon's resignation. President Reagan's failure to use the Amendment in 1981 after being shot and seriously wounded disappointed those who championed its provisions but the strong backlash he received actually strengthened the Amendment and convinced subsequent Administrations to develop plans for its use. The President who takes office in 2001 is likely to devise similar plans.

The Amendment is positioned to be a crucial tool if, as seems inevitable, the country again confronts a case of presidential inability, whether the inability entails illness or even kidnapping. It respects the presidency by making it difficult to oust a Chief Executive from exercising his powers and duties, giving a decisive role to those likely to protect the president and embodying checks and balances at every point in the processs.
It avoids a definition of the term "inability" so as to provide decision-makers with flexibility and escapes the legalisms that such a definition could cause in a time of political turmoil. Both a legal and a political document, the Amendment deals with its subjects practically and in a manner consistent with the principle of separation of powers. It is likely to ensure stability and continuity in the event of a national crisis.

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Robert E. Gilbert is Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University. He is also author of three books, including Television and Presidential Politics.

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