Hamilton and the Law
Chapter 24: Elections as Duels
In the song "The Election of 1800," James Madison exclaims, "It's crazy that the guy who comes in second becomes Vice President." Jefferson - who had just won the presidency but faced the reality that his de facto running mate-turned-rival, Aaron Burr, was becoming the vice president, responds, "Yeah, you know what? We can change that. You know why? ... 'cuz I'm the President."
The Constitution, however, does not give the president the power to change the constitutional structure for electing the president and vice president. As Jefferson knew, only a constitutional amendment can do that. Yet Jefferson's vision of the presidency contributed to the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment, which altered how we select the president and vice president.
Cornell University Press
Twelfth Amendment, election, constitution
Constitutional Law | Election Law | Law
Douglas, Joshua A. and Tucker,, Lisa A. Editor, "Hamilton and the Law" (2020). Law Faculty Books and Chapters. 35.