Legal expert Alan Dershowitz said this isn’t the time to “seriously” think about invoking the 25th Amendment because of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis.
During a Friday appearance on Newsmax TV’s “National Report,” the retired Harvard Law professor said the president will be able to govern while recovering from the coronavirus.
“At this point in time, he is the president, he will remain the president,” Dershowitz said.
But, he noted if the president is placed on a ventilator, then a “very different” conversation will have to take place.
Dershowitz said there are two hypothetical scenarios to consider if Trump becomes incapacitated and can’t govern.
First, is who would take over until Jan. 20, which would bring the 25th Amendment into play. The other scenario is what would happen if he can’t run for reelection.
He said the Republican Party would be allowed to select a new nominee and it wouldn’t automatically go to Vice President Mike Pence.
“There is no constitutional barrier to the Republican Party coming up with a new approach and picking an entirely new candidate to run,” he said. “They can pick any ticket literally up to the end.”
He said the GOP could run into an issue when it comes to how states handle elections. He said it could be too late to change the names on the ballots, especially in states where people have already voted.
“A vote for President Trump doesn’t automatically translate into a vote for any Republican nominee,” he said, adding, “that would deny people the right to pick and choose their candidate.”
He said these types of questions should be asked in order to prevent a “crisis” from occurring on the eve of the election.
“We have never had this in our history,” he said. “We have never come close to having his in our history. I never imagined we would live through a period where there are so many contingencies that occur.”
He said he has written extensively about holding an election in the middle of a pandemic, but “never anticipated this issue.”
“We have to make sure our Constitution and our laws are flexible enough to take into account any eventuality and make sure that Democratic principles prevail,” he concluded.
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