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Friday, April 22, 2016

VEEP returns amid constitutional chaos

VEEP returns to HBO on Sunday night (with a new showrunner) where it left off--an Electoral College tie; a likely tie in the House of Representatives; Selena Meyer's running mate, Tom James, likely to win in the Senate, then become acting President with the House in stalemate; and the running mate/new VP/new acting President asking Meyer to become his VP. This commentator argues that the show cannot narratively go back to Meyer as VP, although it can draw the uncertainty out well. In advance of the episode, I repeat my argument that the show cannot constitutionally go back to Meyer as VP, because James will only act as President and will not have the power to appoint a Vice President.

I hopefully will have some comments on the episode on Monday. Maybe I will try bloggging the constitutional and succession issues for the season.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on April 22, 2016 at 03:37 PM in Constitutional thoughts, Culture, Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


A person in a previous thread made the crafty argument that a faithless elector can vote for Tom James, so he would be among the top THREE that the House can select as President.

The faithless elector would also have to pick a different vice presidential candidate to go along with Tom James. Perhaps, if s/he had a sense of humor, Selina Meyer would be chosen.

If the House picked James before the Senate acted, Meyer (who we can assume to be a Democrat) and the Republican nominee would be the only two candidates qualified. The Senate can in theory vote for Meyer there. If the Republican candidate died, the Twentieth Amendment would allow Congress to set up a procedure to replace her. Or, if Tom James wins, the Republican candidate can refuse to serve as veep under him. The person is selected, Tom James selects Meyer.

Posted by: Joe | Apr 22, 2016 9:37:56 PM

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