Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall
end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators
and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the
years in which such terms would have ended if this article had
not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then
Section. 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year,
and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January,
unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
Section. 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of
the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice
President elect shall become President. If a President shall not
have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his
term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify,
then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a
President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law
provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice
President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then
act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall
be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a
President or Vice President shall have qualified.
Section. 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death
of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may
choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have
devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the
persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President
whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
Section. 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of
October following the ratification of this article.
Section. 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have
been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the
legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven
years from the date of its submission.
Proposal and Ratification
The twentieth amendment to the Constitution was proposed to the
legislatures of the several states by the Seventy-Second
Congress, on the 2d day of March, 1932, and was declared, in a
proclamation by the Secretary of State, dated on the 6th day of
February, 1933, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 36
of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Virginia, March
4, 1932; New York, March 11, 1932; Mississippi, March 16, 1932;
Arkansas, March 17, 1932; Kentucky, March 17, 1932; New Jersey,
March 21, 1932; South Carolina, March 25, 1932; Michigan, March
31, 1932; Maine, April 1, 1932; Rhode Island, April 14, 1932;
Illinois, April 21, 1932; Louisiana, June 22, 1932; West
Virginia, July 30, 1932; Pennsylvania, August 11, 1932; Indiana,
August 15, 1932; Texas, September 7, 1932; Alabama, September 13,
1932; California, January 4, 1933; North Carolina, January 5,
1933; North Dakota, January 9, 1933; Minnesota, January 12, 1933;
Arizona, January 13, 1933; Montana, January 13, 1933; Nebraska,
January 13, 1933; Oklahoma, January 13, 1933; Kansas, January 16,
1933; Oregon, January 16, 1933; Delaware, January 19, 1933;
Washington, January 19, 1933; Wyoming, January 19, 1933; Iowa,
January 20, 1933; South Dakota, January 20, 1933; Tennessee,
January 20, 1933; Idaho, January 21, 1933; New Mexico, January
21, 1933; Georgia, January 23, 1933; Missouri, January 23, 1933;
Ohio, January 23, 1933; Utah, January 23, 1933.
Ratification was completed on January 23, 1933.
The amendment was subsequently ratified by Massachusetts on
January 24, 1933; Wisconsin, January 24, 1933; Colorado, January
24, 1933; Nevada, January 26, 1933; Connecticut, January 27,
1933; New Hampshire, January 31, 1933; Vermont, February 2, 1933;
Maryland, March 24, 1933; Florida, April 26, 1933.