According to the 25th amendment and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the Speaker of the House would not truly become President of the United States. He would be known as the "Acting President". In fact, even if the President never resumed his duties the Speaker would never fully become President, but remain as acting president until the next presidential election. While the Speaker is seen taking the oath of office, that is not required by the Constitution or the succession act, either.
Bartlet: What is it they're gonna want? Bahji prisoners freed? We get out of Qumar? We get out of Kuhndu?
The countries Qumar and Kuhndu and the Bahji terrorist cell are all made up.
This is the last episode that Aaron Sorkin wrote.
Bartlet says the 25th Amendment allows him to hand power to the next in the "constitutional line of succession." But there is no "constitutional line of succession" other than the vice president. All succession issues are dealt with in the 1947 succession act.
Wes: Listen to me. You're gonna be fine. You are the key witness to the end of the world.
Leo: The babies are okay?
Toby: Yeah. They're great. And if somebody was hurting them, I'd drop napalm on Yellowstone to get them to stop, letting some prisoners out of jail wouldn't be nothing, and I've known my kids for about 45 minutes.
Toby: And Molly.
Bartlet: Nice. So what do you know now that you didn't know before?
Toby: Babies come with hats.
Bartlet: Yeah, they also come with those little theft protection devices, those little LoJacks on their ankles so they can't be boosted from the hospital. Man, don't ever let them take it off.
Toby (to the twins): I didn't realize babies come with hats. You guys crack me up. You don't have jobs, you can't walk or speak the language. You don't have a dollar in your pockets, but you got yourselves a hat, so everything's fine. I don't want to alarm you or anything, but I'm Dad. And for you, son, for you, this will be the last time I pass the buck, but I think it should be clear from the get-go that it was Mom who named you Huckleberry. I guess she was feeling like life doesn't present enough challenges to overcome on its own.
Thank you to Chief Teresa C. Chambers and the men and women of the United States Parks Department
Music Featured In This Episode: - "Angel" by Massive Attack
When Toby is talking to the twins in the hospital room and the camera is on him it is quite clear that Huck has a pacifier in his mouth. When the camera changes to look at Huck the pacifier is gone.
Martin Sheen's son, actor Emilio Estevez, made an uncredited appearance as young Jed Bartlet in the home movies segment.
Alan Dale, who plays Secretary of Commerce Mitch Bryce in this episode, is the only actor to play roles in both the Bartlet and Palmer ("24") Cabinets. On "24", he played the Vice President. On both shows he had occasion to enact the 25th Amendment and remove the President from office.
Awards and Nominations: Episode won the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Christopher Misiano) Episode was nominated for the 2003 Emy for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Series (Janet Ashikaga, A.C.E.) Episode was nominated for the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series (Gary D. Rogers, Dan Hiland, Patrick Hanson, C.A.S.) Episode was nominated for the 2003 Emmy in Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (Aaron Sorkin) Episode won the 2003 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series Night (Christopher Misiano) Episode was nominated for the 2004 Eddie Award in the category of Best Edited One-Hour Series for Television (Janet Ashikaga A.C.E.)
In "Mr. Willis of Ohio", after Zoe gets harassed in a bar, Jed lectures her about her security and the possible problems that could occur if she doesn't take her protection seriously. The scenario that he outlines is the exact premise of "Twenty Five", in which he mentions predicting the kidnapping.
The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1967, reads as follows:
"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 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."
Episode Title: "Twenty-Five" refers to the XXV Amendment to the US Constitution, which permits the president to temporarily tranfers his powers when he is unable to discharge the duties of the office.