Recasting the Second Fiddle: The Need for a Clear Line of Lieutenant Gubernatorial Succession

T. Quinn Yeargain


Lieutenant governorships originally did not exist in the United States in significant numbers. But as states were faced with the unsatisfactory results of their gubernatorial succession provisions, state constitutions were amended to provide the Governor with a built-in successor . However , despite these changes, state constitutions generally did not provide for filling lieutenant- gubernatorial vacancies. Following the ratification of the Twenty- fifth Amendment, this began to change, as states adopted lieutenant- gubernatorial succession provisions—which echoed the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s provisions for vice-presidential vacancies—in a flurry of activity.

This Article focuses on the history and current reality of lieutenant- gubernatorial vacancies, exploring the absence of explicit succession provisions and the adoption of these provisions following the Twenty- fifth Amendment, and surveys how lieutenant-gubernatorial vacancies are currently filled. It then argues that states without explicit succession provisions should adopt them and discusses what factors might be considered in drafting these provisions.

Please find a PDF copy of the article here.