[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 113th Congress]
[113rd Congress]
[House Document 112-161]
[The United States Constitution]
[Pages 109-113]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


 

                      AMENDMENT XX.\11\


[[Page 110]]

tives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms 
would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of 
their successors shall then begin.
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Sec. 241. Commencement of terms of Pres., Vice Pres., Senators, and Representatives. Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representa
\11\ See article I, section 4 of the Constitution. The 20th amendment to the Constitution was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the 72d Congress, on March 3, 1932, and was declared in a proclamation by the Secretary of State dated February 6, 1933, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 36 of the 48 States. The dates of these ratifications were: Virginia, March 4, 1932; New York, March 11, 1932; Mississippi, March 16, 1932; Arkansas, March 17, 1932; Kentucky, March 17, 1932; New Jersey, March 21, 1932; South Carolina, March 25, 1932; Michigan, March 31, 1932; Maine, April 1, 1932; Rhode Island, April 14, 1932; Illinois, April 21, 1932; Louisiana, June 22, 1932; West Virginia, July 30, 1932; Pennsylvania, August 11, 1932; Indiana, August 15, 1932; Texas, September 7, 1932; Alabama, September 13, 1932; California, January 4, 1933; North Carolina, January 5, 1933; North Dakota, January 9, 1933; Minnesota, January 12, 1933; Montana, January 13, 1933; Nebraska, January 13, 1933; Oklahoma, January 13, 1933; Arizona, January 13, 1933; Kansas, January 16, 1933; Oregon, January 16, 1933; Wyoming, January 19, 1933; Delaware, January 19, 1933; Washington, January 19, 1933; South Dakota, January 20, 1933; Tennessee, January 20, 1933; Iowa, January 20, 1933; Idaho, January 21, 1933; New Mexico, January 21, 1933; Ohio, January 23, 1933; Utah, January 23, 1933; Missouri, January 23, 1933; Georgia, January 23, 1933. Ratification was completed on January 23, 1933. The amendment was subsequently ratified by Massachusetts, January 24, 1933; Wisconsin, January 24, 1933; Colorado, January 24, 1933; Nevada, January 26, 1933; Connecticut, January 27, 1933; New Hampshire, January 31, 1933; Vermont, February 2, 1933; Maryland, March 24, 1933; Florida, April 26, 1933. The ratification of this amendment to the Constitution shortened the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Vice President John N. Garner, and the terms of all Senators and Representatives of the 73d Congress. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sec. 242. Meeting of Congress. Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
[[Page 111]] Before the ratification of the 20th amendment Congress met on the first Monday in December as provided in article I, section 4, of the Constitution. For discussion of the term of Congress before and pursuant to the 20th amendment, see Sec. 6, supra (accompanying art. I, sec. 2, cl. 1), and Deschler, ch. 1. Pursuant to section 2 of the 20th amendment, a regular session of a Congress must begin at noon on January 3 of every year unless Congress sets a different date by law, and if the House is in session at that time the Speaker declares the House adjourned sine die without a motion from the floor, in order that the next regular session of that Congress, or the first session of the next Congress (as the case may be) may assemble at noon on that day (Jan. 3, 1980, pp. 37773, 37774; Jan. 3, 1996, pp. 35, 36; Jan. 3, 2012, p. _; Jan. 3, 2013, p. _). The House has adjourned the second session of a Congress without motion at its expiration and convened the first session of the new Congress on a different date as prescribed by law (Jan. 3, 2009, p. 24812). - Section 3. <> If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the begin [[Page 112]] ning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
Sec. 243. Laws appointing different day for convening. Since ratification, the following days for assembling have been established: Public Law 74-120, Jan. 5, 1937; Public Law 77-395, Jan. 5, 1942; Public Law 77-819, Jan. 6, 1943; Public Law 78-210, Jan. 10, 1944; Public Law 79-289, Jan. 14, 1946; Public Law 80-358, Jan. 6, 1948; Public Law 82-244, Jan. 8, 1952; Public Law 83-199, Jan. 6, 1954; Public Law 83-700, Jan. 5, 1955; Public Law 85-290, Jan. 7, 1958; Public Law 85-819, Jan. 7, 1959; Public Law 86-305, Jan. 6, 1960; Public Law 87- 348, Jan. 10, 1962; Public Law 87-864, Jan. 9, 1963; Public Law 88-247, Jan. 7, 1964; Public Law 88-649, Jan. 4, 1965; Public Law 89-340, Jan. 10, 1966; Public Law 89-704, Jan. 10, 1967; Public Law 90-230, Jan. 15, 1968; Public Law 91-182, Jan. 19, 1970; Public Law 91-643, Jan. 21, 1971; Public Law 92-217, Jan. 18, 1972; Public Law 93-196, Jan. 21, 1974; Public Law 93-553, Jan. 14, 1975; Public Law 94-186, Jan. 19, 1976; Public Law 94-494, Jan. 4, 1977; Public Law 95-594, Jan. 15, 1979; Public Law 96-566, Jan. 5, 1981; Public Law 97-133, Jan. 25, 1982; Public Law 98-179, Jan. 23, 1984; Public Law 99-379, Jan. 21, 1986; Public Law 99-613, Jan. 6, 1987; Public Law 100-229, Jan. 25, 1988; Public Law 101-228, Jan. 23, 1990; Public Law 102-475, Jan. 5, 1993; Public Law 103-395, Jan. 4, 1995; Public Law 104-296, Jan. 7, 1997; Public Law 105-140, Jan. 27, 1998; Public Law 105-350, Jan. 6, 1999; Public Law 106-127, Jan. 24, 2000; Public Law 107-328, Jan. 7, 2003; Public Law 108-181, Jan. 20, 2004; Public Law 108-433, Jan. 4, 2005; Public Law 109-447, Jan. 4, 2007; Public Law 110-430, Jan. 6, 2009; Public Law 111-121, Jan. 5, 2010; Public Law 111-289, Jan. 5, 2011. Such laws for the convening of a second session of a Congress may provide for possible earlier assembly by joint-leadership recall (see, e.g., Public Law 107-98, Jan. 23, 2002).
Sec. 245. Statutory succession and the 25th amendment. Congress provided by law in 1947 for the performance of the duties of the President in case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President (3 U.S.C. 19). Earlier succession statutes covering the periods 1792-1886 and 1887-1948 can be found in 18 Stat. 21, and 24 Stat. 1, respectively. Also see the 25th amendment to the Constitution, relating to vacancies in the Office of Vice President and Presidential inability.
Before the 20th amendment there was no provision in the Constitution for a case wherein the President-elect was disqualified or had died.
Sec. 246. Congress to provide for case wherein death occurs among those from whom House chooses a President. Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
[[Page 113]] The above section changes the 12th amendment insofar as it gives Congress the power to provide by law the manner in which the House should proceed in the event no candidate had a majority and one of the three highest on the list of those voted for as President had died. Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article. Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.