“Designated Survivor” And The Presidential Succession Act

Kiefer Sutherland is back to save the United States of America!  No, not as Jack Bauer, but as Thomas Kirkman, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who is the “Designated Survivor,” i.e., the cabinet member selected not to attend the State of the Union Address at which virtually the entire United States government is destroyed.

Just in case you are curious about the legal accuracy of the show, take a look at the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.  If the President and the Vice-President are dead, incapacitated or otherwise unable to exercise the powers of the Office of President, here is the order of succession :

  1. Speaker of the House
  2. President pro tempore of the Senate
  3. Secretary of State
  4. Secretary of the Treasury
  5. Secretary of Defense
  6. Attorney General
  7. Secretary of the Interior
  8. Secretary of Agriculture
  9. Secretary of Commerce
  10. Secretary of Labor
  11. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  12. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  13. Secretary of Transportation
  14. Secretary of Energy
  15. Secretary of Education
  16. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  17. Secretary of Homeland Security.

I’ve enjoyed the first two episodes of the show.  Check it out!


2 Comments on ““Designated Survivor” And The Presidential Succession Act”

  1. Maura Casey says:

    The real constitutional quirk here is the fact that the Senate president pro tempore – a near-meaningless office, generally given to the Senator who has served the longest – is THIRD IN LINE to the presidency. Today, Orrin Hatch could be president if Obama, Biden, and Paul Ryan all got bird flu or ebola. Orrin Hatch is in his 80s. Years ago, Robert Byrd was the president pro tempore and if memory serves he died in his 90s. If anything in the constitution needs to be mopped up, this does. I’m enjoying the program too, Dan!

  2. Rose sigman says:

    Since Dr. Ben Carson was Chief of Housing and Development, is he the new Designated Survivor?

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