What problems are associated with presidential succession? How does the constitution approach these problems?
The original Constitution said little about the complexity of Presidential succession. It only offered that the Vice President would take over the office of a deceased or incapacitated President. It did not offer any guidance or mandate on the permanence or lack thereof the appointment. As the United States is a system of government that is forged by precedents in all areas, it took an act of precedence to set the standard for how presidential succession would function. John Tyler, who succeed William Henry Harrison, claimed his legal authority to take over the position of President in permanence to the end of Tyler’s term. This set the precedent that exist today and has been solidified through law.
The law that solidifies this is that of the 25th Amendment, which states that the Vice President takes over for the President in cases of death, incapacity, or removal (impeachment, for instance). From here, there is a line of succession that runs throughout the federal government. This line runs all the way to the bottom, and is why there is one person selected each year not to attend the President’s state of the union address. This is to ensure that, in case of catastrophe, someone in the federal government is able to take over the nation in order to carry on.