The Following Constitutional Issues Take Place Between 1106am to 1200pm

24LogoJack is Back! The action on 24 is awesome. And right out of the gate, we have large Constitutional issues.

President James Heller is showing memory problems. Whether he has the early stages of Alzheimer or some dementia, this calls in his ability to serve as President. A lot would depend on whether it impairs him from carrying out his duties.

President Heller’s disease could trigger whether he has an “Inability to Discharge the Powers and Duties” of the President, creating issues under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution and the 25 Amendment.

Presidents have to remember little things like nuclear launch codes, let alone the names of Congressmen, foreign leaders and talking points. If Heller is having medical problems more serious than mixing up Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt in sending the Great White Fleet around the world, there could be a real inability to serve. However, if his condition is keeping him off Jeopardy, probably not.

The story includes references to Heller running for President “four years ago.” This would put him well into his first term. The development of the disease at a minimum would keep him from running for a second term. Whether or not he could finish his first term would depend on the nature of the disease.

Should President Heller resign? Not yet from the first two hours, but the answer depends on his health. However, the knowledge of his disease could trigger the Vice President taking over as President under the 25th Amendment and Presidential Succession Act.

Now, about that Chief of Staff/Son-in-Law issuing orders from the President, there is nothing in the Constitution giving him the authority to do so….

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Josh Gilliland
Josh Gilliland is a California attorney who focuses his practice on eDiscovery. Josh is the co-creator of The Legal Geeks, which has made the ABA Journal Top Blawg 100 Blawg for 2013 to 2016, and was nominated for Best Podcast for the 2015 Geekie Awards. Josh has presented at legal conferences and comic book conventions across the United States. He also ties a mean bow tie.