In recent months, probably no constitutional provision has been more discussed, but less well understood, than Section Four of the Twenty-fifth Amendment. In its fifty-year history, the provision has never been triggered. But were that to happen, that constitutional provision could lead to the permanent separation of an American President from his powers and duties within less than one month. The Amendment's text raises numerous interpretive questions. This lecture functions as a reader's guide to Yale Law School Rule of Law Clinic's Reader's Guide to the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which seeks to answer those questions. The lecture focuses on the Guide's conclusions concerning activation, definition and proof of presidential inability, institutional roles, the morning after completion of the process, and how Congress could better regularize process under the Amendment. In offering such a primer to the public, the Guide and this lecture seek to clarify how an as-yet-unused, but vitally important, constitutional process should function in a future, highly charged moment of national crisis.
Harold Hongju Koh, Interpreting the Twenty-fifth Amendment: Major Controversies, 10 ConLawNOW 263 (2019)