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Source: Harper’s Weekly
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “The Vice-President’s Duties”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 45
Issue number: 2334
Pagination: 913

“The Vice-President’s Duties.” Harper’s Weekly 14 Sept. 1901 v45n2334: p. 913.
full text
Roosevelt vice-presidency; presidential succession; Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency).
Named persons
Chester A. Arthur; James G. Blaine; Roscoe Conkling; James A. Garfield; Charles J. Guiteau; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt.


The Vice-President’s Duties

MR. ROOSEVELT, under the Constitution, is charged with the tasks and duties of the Presidency, in case of Mr. McKinley’s disability. Only once before, in the history of the government, has the question of the propriety of the assumption of these duties and powers by the Vice-President been raised. When Mr. Garfield was waiting for death after Guiteau’s shot, Mr. Blaine urged Mr. Arthur to assume the office, but Mr. Arthur, mainly for personal reasons, the relations between himself and the President being strained on account of Senator Conkling’s quarrel with Mr. Garfield, declined to serve, and did not appear in Washington until it was necessary, in consequence of the death of the President, to take the oath of office. If the Vice-President should assume the duties of the office, while the President is disabled, he will probably not undertake to formulate a policy of his own. Mr. Roosevelt will undoubtedly observe the proprieties, and will confine himself to routine duties. He will sign the commissions of army and navy officers; make civil appointments when absolutely necessary, acting on the advice of Mr. McKinley’s cabinet when appointments are not under the civil service rules. He will receive ambassadors and ministers; perform those acts of courtesy which are required of the heads of the nation; preside at cabinet meetings; take part in the discussions of the cabinet, although he will not act contrary to its decision, as Mr. McKinley has acted, and as a President sometimes ought to act; and if the President is still disabled when Congress meets the Vice-President will probably transmit to the legislative branch of the government the reports of the heads of the departments, and, as to the message, will, if he says anything, confine himself to a statement of facts.



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