The XX Amendment to the Constitution


Welcome to Our Online Reading Comprehension Activities

Today our theme is the American Constitution and the Twentieth Amendment

January 20 is the day that the United States Constitution mandates that the old president complete his term, and the new president should begin his term. Not only that, but this has to occur at 12 noon. It's quite a feat of organization to ensure that this event occur exactly on that day exactly at that time, in order to be Constitutional.

The term of the new president used to begin on March 4, but the Amendment XX, adopted on Jan. 23, 1933, moved that date to January 20.
He becomes president by taking an Oath (or Affirmation) of Office, which begins, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Donald Trump Is Sworn In as President

Vice President Mike Pence sworn in

Donald Trump inauguration: protesters march following swearing-in

The Twentiesth Amendment also stated how this amendment, as with all amendments to the Constitution, should become law. It must be ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States within seven years from the date of its submission.

1.  What document sets the date in which somebody becomes the new president of the United States ?

2.  What occurs at 12 o'clock noon?

3.  Is this any special day of the week?

Questions for Research:

1.  When is the Vice-President sworn in?

2. What happens if the President-elect dies before he can be sworn into office?

3.  Can the former president run for the office of president again?

4.  Who swears the President in?

5. Who became president after President John F. Kennedy was assasinated? How long after Kennedy died was the new president sworn in?

6. When the Twentieth Amendment was ratified, how many states were there? How many were required to ratify the amendment? Now how many states are required to ratify an amendment?

7. According to the Twentieth amendment, who becomes president if neither the elected president nor the elected vice-president can serve?

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