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Statutes Text

Article - II - Executive Department




§6.

    (a)    If the Governor–elect is disqualified, resigns, or dies, the Lieutenant Governor–elect shall become Governor for the full term. If the Governor–elect fails to assume office for any other reason, the newly elected Lieutenant Governor shall become Lieutenant Governor and shall serve as acting Governor until the Governor–elect assumes office or until the office becomes vacant.

    (b)    The Lieutenant Governor shall serve as acting Governor when notified in writing by the Governor that the Governor will be temporarily unable to perform the duties of his office. The Lieutenant Governor also shall serve as acting Governor when the Governor is disabled but is unable to communicate to the Lieutenant Governor the fact of his inability to perform the duties of his office. In either event the Lieutenant Governor shall serve as acting Governor until notified in writing by the Governor that he is able to resume the duties of his office or until the office becomes vacant.

    (c)    The General Assembly, by the affirmative vote of three–fifths of all its members in joint session, may adopt a resolution declaring that the Governor or Lieutenant Governor is unable by reason of physical or mental disability to perform the duties of his office. When action is undertaken pursuant to this subsection of the Constitution, the officer who concludes that the other officer is unable, by reason of disability to perform the duties of his office shall have the power to call the General Assembly into Joint Session. The resolution, if adopted, shall be delivered to the Court of Appeals, which then shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether that officer is unable by reason of the disability to perform the duties of his office. If the Court of Appeals determines that such officer is unable to discharge the duties of his office by reason of a permanent disability, the office shall be vacant. If the Court of Appeals determines that such officer is unable to discharge the duties of his office by reason of a temporary disability, it shall declare the office to be vacant during the time of the disability and the Court shall have continuing jurisdiction to determine when the disability has terminated. If the General Assembly and the Court of Appeals, acting in the same manner as described above, determine that the Governor–elect or Lieutenant Governor–elect is unable by reason of physical or mental disability to perform the duties of the office to which he has been elected, he shall be disqualified to assume office.

    (d)    When a vacancy occurs in the office of Governor, the Lieutenant Governor shall succeed to that office for the remainder of the term. When a vacancy occurs in the office of Lieutenant Governor, the Governor shall nominate a person who shall succeed to that office upon confirmation by the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the General Assembly in joint session.

    (e)    If vacancies in the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor exist at the same time, the General Assembly shall convene forthwith, and the office of Governor shall be filled for the remainder of the term by the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the General Assembly in joint session. The person so chosen as Governor by the General Assembly shall then nominate a person to succeed to the office of Lieutenant Governor, upon confirmation by the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the General Assembly in the same joint session. The President of the Senate shall serve as acting Governor until the newly elected Governor has qualified. If a vacancy exists in the office of Lieutenant Governor, at a time when the Lieutenant Governor is authorized to serve as acting Governor, the President of the Senate shall serve as acting Governor. If there is a vacancy in the office of the President of the Senate at a time when he is authorized to serve as acting Governor, the Senate shall forthwith convene and fill the vacancy.

    (f)    When the Lieutenant Governor or a person elected by the General Assembly succeeds to the office of Governor, he shall have the title, powers, duties, and emoluments of that office; but when the Lieutenant Governor or the President of the Senate serves as acting Governor, he shall have only the powers and duties of that office. When the President of the Senate serves as acting Governor, he shall continue to be President of the Senate, but his duties as president shall be performed by such other person as the Senate shall select.

    (g)    The Court of Appeals shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes or questions arising from the failure of the Governor–elect to take office, or the service of the Lieutenant Governor or President of the Senate as acting Governor, or the creation of a vacancy in the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor by reason of disability, or the succession to the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor, or the exercise of the powers and duties of a successor to the office of Governor.