‘The president of the United States has essentially unconstrained authority to use nuclear weapons however he sees fit.
So what would happen if the president, in the judgment of those closest to him, were to … not be in his right mind?
In such a scenario, there is, in fact, something that could quickly and legally be done to avert global catastrophe. The answer lies in Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
The amendment states that if, for whatever reason, the vice president and a majority of sitting Cabinet secretaries decide that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” they can simply put that down in writing and send it to two people — the speaker of the House and the Senate’s president pro tem.Then the vice president would immediately become “Acting President,” and take over all the president’s powers.
Let that sink in — one vice president and any eight Cabinet officers can, theoretically, decide to knock the president out of power at any time.
If the president wants to dispute this move, he can, but then it would be up to Congress to settle the matter with a vote. A two-thirds majority in both houses would be necessary to keep the vice president in charge. If that threshold isn’t reached, the president would regain his powers.Section 4 of the 25th Amendment has never been invoked in reality, though it’s a staple of thriller fiction. But there’s been a sudden surge of interest in it in recent months, as reports of Donald Trump’s bizarre behavior behind closed doors have been piling up, and there is increasingly unsubtle speculation in Washington about the health of the president’s mind.’