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Constitutional Cliffhangers$
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Brian C. Kalt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300123517

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300123517.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Constitutional Cliffhangers

Brian C. Kalt

Yale University Press

This book discusses the election, punishment, and replacement of presidents in the United States. Ideally, the constitutional rules would be clear on such occasions, but often they are not. It examines six presidential constitutional cliffhangers: scenarios in which the fate of the president or presidency is in doubt as politicians, courts, and the people argue over the proper interpretation of the Constitution. This book can be taken as a legal guide to navigating the six scenarios presented in the next few chapters, should they ever occur. In the process, these six discussions shed light on how law and politics combine to settle cliffhangers, how the constitutional weak spots that produce cliffhangers can be patched up, why such repairs are nevertheless rare, and how best to prevent these weak spots from forming in the first place.

Keywords:   election, punishment, replacement, presidents, constitutional rules, constitutional cliffhangers, Constitution

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