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The Presidential Succession

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The death of Vico-President Wilson haa lod to a good deal of speculation concerning the line of 8ttcces3ion tn the Presidency in case President Grant should die bef ore the expirBtion of his term. The Constitutiou simply prescribes (Art. IL, 6) that, in eaae of vacancy in the offices of both President and Vice-President, "the Congress may by law próvido wliai officer shall then act as Presiáent." ítongres has provided by law (Kevisect Statutes, Chap. L, Sec. 140, ) as follows: "In case of removal, death, romguation, or inability of both the President aud President of the United States, the President of tho Senato, or, if tliere is none, then tho Speaker of the House of Representativos, for tho timo being, shall act as President nntil tho disability is removed or a President elected." The United States law further provides that wheu both offices shall be vacant tho Sccretary of State shall notify the Exeoutives of the various States, and specify that electors SháÜ be chosen within thirty-f our days bef ore the flrst Wednesday in December next sueceeding wheu two months intervenc between the vacáncy aiid that date, anti of tlio December of tho following year when two months do not intervene, unless the Presidential term expires on the Sd of Maren following tho vacancy. Thus it will bo seen that the temporary ucoupant öf the C'hief Magistraey could not hold the place beyondone year in any event. It has always been thought Üiat a question will arise, if a speoial Presideutial election shall ever be called, whetherthe person chosen at such election would be entitled to serve fotff yewa, or merely the unexpired term of tho vacancy, as the law soems to be soniewhat vague in its terms in this regard. It is the eustom of the Senate to elect a President pro. tein. at the beginning of each Congress, aixl this officer serves throughout the sossion. At the special session of the Senate last spring, Senator Ferrv, of Michigan, -was chosen to that position, and in case of President Grant's death he would succeed to the Presidency. If Senator Ferry shouid die before Congress meets tliere would be no Speaker of the House to take the seat, and the Senate woiüd havo the right to elect another Presiden pro. tem., who would becomé President. The Speaker of the House would beconie President if both Gen. Grant and Mr. Ferry should die after a Speaker is elected. But thore is stül another circuinstance that might cut somo tíguro in the case. Though it is the eustom to continue the President of the Senate in office throughout the term of Congress in which he is elected, the Senate Í3 a permanent body and may elect its officers i whenever it chooses. All it needs to do is to pass a resolution that it will proceed on a certam day to elect a Secretary, or a President pro. tem., or other officer of its own. This is the way it has of disraissing its officers. There is, therefore, nothiug to prevent the Senate from elocting another President pro. lom. when it cönvenes Dec. 6, if it sees fit to do so. If such action is taken, the person succeeding Mr. Ferry in that position would becomo President upon Gen. Grant's death during his term and until a successor should be chosen by the peoplo in the manner and form prescribed by law. The contingency is probably


Old News
Michigan Argus