If a President Resigns, Can they Run Again? (Explained)

If a president resigns, can he run again? If a president hasn’t already been elected twice and resigns, they can run again.

if a president resigns can he run again

The number of terms a president may serve was not explicitly stated in the original United States Constitution.

With regard to presidential term limitations, the 22nd Amendment provided clarification.

A president in the United States is only permitted to hold office for two terms, per the constitution and the 22nd Amendment.

A full presidential term lasts for four years.

Constitutional restrictions prohibit one individual from having too much power for too long in the United States.

The two terms rule isn’t always as simple to apply.

Some presidents take office in the middle of their terms rather than as the President-Elect.

Additionally, the terms need not be consecutive, and the two-term restriction wasn’t always in place.

With three full terms and one partial term, FDR held office for just over 12 years. He was chosen for a fourth term, but he passed away just two months and 23 days into it.

Presidents typically hold office for four years, run for reelection, and then relinquish power at the end of a second term. This hasn’t always been the case, though.

As different parties seized control of power and fresh faces emerged as the most qualified candidates, political and societal shifts tended to allow for a natural line of succession. FDR stood out from the crowd.

Despite being elected four times, Franklin D. Roosevelt only held office for a small portion of the fourth before passing away.

He could easily win re-election with the support of the party and people due to his popularity and the success of his initiatives throughout his presidency.

His entire term of office, which spanned from March 4, 1933, to April 12, 1945, saw the country emerge from the Great Depression, complete the New Deal, and enter the Second World War.

How Many Years Can a President Serve?

if a president resigns can he run again

A president typically holds office for four or eight years. Two terms of four years each make up the eight years.

A president may run for reelection after serving a four-year term starting at the time of inauguration, according to the existing constitution with its amendments.

If they are elected to a second term, they are ineligible to seek office again once that term is up.

Instead, the party must select a new nominee and support them during their campaign with the help of the outgoing leader.

Did Any Other President Try for a Third Term?

if a president resigns can he run again

The 22nd Amendment, which only allows the president to hold office for two terms, was added to the constitution very recently.

As a result, more three-term presidents are likely to occur in the future.

This wasn’t the case, though. Roosevelt was the only person to succeed in that endeavor.

This is due to a variety of circumstances, including the popularity and health of two-term presidents.

Additionally, there was an unwritten agreement to abide by the two requirements.

Since the Constitutional Convention, there have been talks of a two-term limit, and both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were reportedly in favor of it.

The first President of the United States, George Washington, held office for two terms in a row.

All three Jameses—James Madison, James Monroe, and Andrew Jackson—decided to maintain the limited terms rule.

However, not all presidents felt this way; some wanted to carry on. One of them, Ulysses S. Grant, ran for office on a number of occasions.

Originally, he intended to continue serving and run for re-election for a third straight term in 1876, but a bad review convinced him otherwise.

Nevertheless, he ran for president in 1880 but was defeated by James Garfield.

What Changed to Limit the President to 2 Terms?

if a president resigns can he run again

To stop protracted presidential terms like Roosevelt’s, the nation needed a constitutional amendment.

The 22nd Amendment states that,

“no person shall be elected to the Office of the President more than twice”

This was taken from House Joint Resolution 27 after Roosevelt’s passing. On February 27th, 1951, the ratification process was completed after three years and 343 days.

This amendment came with a crucial proviso that had an impact on Harry S. Truman’s administration at the time.

He may have held office for more than two terms because the amendment was intended to apply to future presidents.

However, it turned out that this grandfather’s provision wasn’t necessary.

Truman served one full term and much of Roosevelt’s fourth, but he was eligible to run for office again in 1952.

However, a 27% approval rating was sufficient for him to resign.

Can a President Serve for More Than 8 Years?

if a president resigns can he run again

The regulations governing whether a president can hold office for longer than eight years get somewhat complex.

The duration of a presidential term is set at four years, and the inauguration takes place on the same day every year—January 20. This indicates that two consecutive presidential terms total eight years.

Measuring a president’s tenure in office day by day is also fascinating. Aside from Washington’s 2,865, all other two-term presidents served for 2,922 days.

Before it was decided that all terms would start on March 4, Washington came into power. Later, the date was changed to January 20.

However, there is a chance that a president might be in office for ten years. Everything relies on how they get power.

Having the appropriate person in control at all times is made possible by the 25th Amendment, which is a fantastic instrument for protecting the presidency.

There are several instances of presidents who did not serve their full terms.

If there wasn’t someone to step in, the country might have remained without a leader until the next election due to impeachment, natural death, or assassination.

Unless there is a compelling cause to move farther down the succession, this position usually belongs to the vice president.

When a president dies or is removed from office, the vice president may take office immediately after and then run for the party nomination in the subsequent election.

The second clause of the 22nd Amendment states the following:

“No person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the Office of the President more than once”

Therefore, following a successful full term, presidents may run again if their initial partial term did not last longer than two years.

A president has the option to hold office for ten years.

This has never occurred, though. A few presidents took office in the middle of their terms and later won elections, but none of them continued.

The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: What Happens if a President is No Longer Fit to Serve?

if a president resigns can he run again

To amend a section of Article II, Section I of the US Constitution, Congress passed the 25th Amendment in 1965.

The amendment sought to address several issues that might arise in the event that a president or vice president passes away or becomes incapable.

It was evident that the Vice President would take over as president if the President passed away, resigned, or was impeached.

But would they retain the presidency or just its responsibilities?

Who then assumes the Vice President’s responsibilities? What happens if a president suffers a crippling illness or accident and is unable to carry out their duties?

With the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, Congress attempted to address these issues.

What the Twenty-Fifth Amendment Says

if a president resigns can he run again

Section 1.

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2.

Whenever there is a vacancy in the Office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3.

Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session.

If the Congress within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by a two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

What it Means

if a president resigns can he run again

The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, United States Library of Congress

The Twenty-fifth Amendment was an attempt to address some of the lingering questions surrounding the Office of the President, including what happens in the event of the President’s death, removal from office, or resignation, and what should be done in the event that the President is rendered incapacitated to the point where he is unable to carry out his duties.

The Vice President assumed the office of President in the event of the death of the President, as had occurred eight times throughout our history.

The Vice President would presumably succeed the President when he was removed from office.

Scholars and experts disagreed on whether the Vice President would take over as President in the event of the President’s incapacitation and whether he could retake office after regaining his capacity.

Approximately twenty percent of American history has no Vice President since seven vice presidents had passed away while in office and one had resigned.

The problem of presidential incompetence, however, appeared to be the most challenging to remedy.

Wilson served the final 18 months of his time as an invalid after suffering a stroke, while Garfield spent the first 80 days of his life in a coma before passing away from the effects of an assassin’s bullet.

Many questions remained unanswered as a result of these issues, such as who would determine whether a president was incapable, how the situation would be handled if the president sought to continue, how the Vice President should behave, and whether Congress would have finally proposed this Amendment to the states in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination, with the Vice Presidency vacant and a President who had previously suffered a heart attack.

The Twenty-Fifth Amendment in Practice

if a president resigns can he run again

For the first time in our history, the Amendment was used in the 1970s and led to the election of two persons to the Presidency and Vice-Presidency who had never run in a general election.

First, on October 10, 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew announced his resignation. President Nixon then, for the first time, selected Gerald R. Ford to succeed him.

The Senate Rules Committee and the House Judiciary Committee both held hearings on the nominee; both Houses subsequently confirmed it; and on December 6, 1973, the new Vice President took the oath of office.

Second, on August 9, 1974, President Richard M. Nixon announced his resignation. Vice President Gerald Ford assumed the presidency immediately and took the oath of office at noon on the same day.

Third, again in accordance with Section 2 of the Amendment, Nelson A. Rockefeller was nominated by President Ford to be Vice President.

Hearings in both houses were held on August 20, 1974, and Mr. Rockefeller was confirmed on December 19 of that same year.

Do Presidential Terms Have to Be Consecutive?

if a president resigns can he run again

There is no requirement that a president serves out his or her second term immediately following the first. However, non-consecutive terms in office are uncommon.

Several presidents ran successfully for direct reelection in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Three presidents served two consecutive terms prior to Trump’s unsuccessful reelection bid.

In 1992, Bill Clinton won the election, and he held the position until 2000. Bush Jr. became president as the parties in power switched.

Bush had to leave office in 2008, and his successor ran against Barack Obama. Obama served as president until 2016, when Trump was elected.

Could We See Non-Consecutive Presidential Terms Again?

if a president resigns can he run again

The fact that there is no upper age limit and a lower age limit of 35 is one of the oddities of the laws for standing for president.

Therefore, four or even eight years after an unsuccessful candidacy, former single-term presidents have nothing to prevent them from running again.

The downside is that presidents are now taking office for the first time as they are older. This reduces the likelihood of further non-consecutive term campaigns.

There are currently two former presidents who each served one term and have the option of running again.

Given that Jimmy Carter is almost 100 years old, the chances of him returning to politics and the White House are incredibly slim.

There are rumors that Donald Trump will run again in 2024. If Donald Trump runs for president, he will be 77 years old when he takes office.

Then there is Joe Biden, whose first term in office will end when he is 83 years old.

What is the Line of Succession after the President, Vice President?

if a president resigns can he run again

Presidential Succession

Article 2, Section 1, Clause 6, Constitution of the United States:

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

If the vice president cannot serve, the line of succession falls to the speaker of the House, then to the Senate president pro tempore, then to Cabinet members.

The Cabinet line of succession is:

1. Secretary of State

2. Secretary of the Treasury

3. Secretary of Defense

4. Attorney General

5. Secretary of the Interior

6. Secretary of Agriculture

7. Secretary of Commerce

8. Secretary of Labor

9. Secretary of Health and Human Services

10. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

11. Secretary of Transportation

12. Secretary of Energy

13. Secretary of Education

14. Secretary of Veterans Affairs

15. Secretary of Homeland Security

When a president passed away, eight vice presidents took over, and one took over after a president resigned.

In the absence of the vice president, the president pro tempore, who is often the senior member of the majority party, leads the Senate.

If the president-elect passes away prior to the commencement of his tenure, but after the Electoral College has convened, the 20th Amendment stipulates that the vice president-elect will take over as president.

The Vice President may temporarily assume the role of President under the 25th Amendment if the President is temporarily incapacitated by illness or another circumstance.

Vice President George H. W. Bush presided over the country for eight hours on July 13, 1985, while President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery.

Resign-to-Run Law

if a president resigns can he run again

The “resign-to-run law” essentially forbids an elected or appointed “officer” from meeting the requirements to run for another state, district, county, or municipal public office if the terms or any portion of the terms conflict with the office the person currently holds if the person did not resign from the office the person currently holds.

Resign-to-run proponents contend that since politicians spend a lot of time campaigning for the new office, they may overlook the responsibilities of the post they already hold.

They also think that in a competition between a candidate for one office and a candidate for another, the incumbent candidate can unfairly utilize their office as leverage in the campaign, such as by allocating official resources to it or by using it as a safety net in the event they lose.

A current officeholder who wishes to compete for a higher position might plan their campaign to coincide with the completion of their duties there.

Rodney Glassman, an Arizonan running for the U.S. Senate in 2010, is an example of someone who accomplished this by holding off on making his formal announcement until the city’s budget was finalized.

Resign-to-run rules, according to their detractors, are likely to hurt those who work in public service since they might not be able to resign from their current position if they desire to run for another office.

People who are interested in holding a certain office may be discouraged from running for lower positions first because doing so would prevent them from running for their chosen position and act as a barrier rather than a stepping stone.


If a president hasn’t already been elected twice and resigns, they can run again.

It still counts as a full term even if they quit during their second term.

The vice president assumes the presidency after a resignation from the president.

CSN Team.

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