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Takeover by Norway:

I recently came across this list of people in the line of succession to the British throne. People have taken the trouble to list the first 800 or so people in line, taking care (according to the Act of Settlement of 1701) to skip over anyone who is Catholic, is married to a Catholic, or was at one point married to a Catholic. (Query, for anyone who knows: This is weird.... I assume that if you renounce Catholicism you're back in the line of succession? What if you marry a Catholic but your spouse then renounces Catholicism? Are you back in line, or is removal from the line of succession permanent? Would someone who had divorced a Catholic have to get their ex-spouse to renounce Catholicism to get back in line?)

Point 1 is that what would rock is if Prince William started dating a Catholic. Constitutional crisis! (The Catholic prohibition is sitting there, but it's apparently never been used, and as matters stand today, the prohibition won't be used anytime soon, since the first disqualified person doesn't show up in the list until the 20s.) Of course these British constitutional statutes are just statutes, but (1) it's an important statute, (2) under the Statute of Westminster of 1931, this may require the assent of all the Dominions, and (3) they'd probably have to do some rethinking of this whole King-as-head-of-the-Church-of-England idea.

Point 2 is that the King of Norway is 60th in line of succession. Now 60th is pretty far down, but Norway has been trying to take over England since the year 787! Is there a political thriller plot in there somewhere: The Lindisfarne Legacy? (Note that apparently in V for Vendetta, there's a reference to a "Queen Zara," apparently implying that Zara Phillips, who's now 11th in line, was the most senior Family member to survive a 1980s nuclear war. For Norway-like plots involving currently non-functioning thrones, the heir to the Romanian throne is at #82, the heir to the Serbian throne is at #89, and one pretender to the Russian throne is at #107.)

UPDATE: I know what you're thinking: Isn't "The Lindisfarne Legacy" a course at St. John's College in Durham, England? Not the same thing. You're also thinking: Didn't the Vikings already rule over England from 1016 to 1042, during the reigns of Cnut and Harthacnut? It's tricky to draw these sorts of distinctions, but Cnut is generally thought of as a Dane, not a Norwegian. The Queen of Denmark doesn't come into the British succession until #209.

Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
You saw King Ralph, I hope?
8.25.2006 12:58pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
I hadn't, but now I've just looked over the plot.... Interesting.
8.25.2006 1:01pm
Hoosier:
I may be wrong about this, since Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" portrays things differently. But other 'sources' that I've looked at have all the "Bravehart"-problems (the fight over the claim to Scotland among the varous lairds; the Great Cause; Edward I's meddling in this matter; the Anglo-Scotish war) all came about as a result of the death of a Norwegian--Margaret of Norway, Queen of the Scotts.

So keep this in mind, you jokers: If the Norwegians make a play for the crown again, Mel might have a new Anglophobic movie to make.

These things can turn bad.
8.25.2006 1:04pm
Gavin Peters:
The relevant law covering the exclusion of catholics from the succession is the 1701 act of Settlement, which provides, in part:

Provided always, and be it hereby enacted, That all and every person and persons, who shall or may take or inherit the said Crown, by virtue of the limitation of this present act, and is, are or shall be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with, the See or Church of Rome, or shall profess the popish religion, or shall marry a papist, shall be subject to such incapacities...


What is interesting is that this restriction doesn't apply to Governors General, who act generally in Her Majesty's capacity in overseas nations she governs, such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Canada in the twentieth century alternated French and English Governors General, so I imagine that at least one of the French ones (perhaps even the present Governor General, Her Excellency Michaelle Jean) has been Catholic.
8.25.2006 1:06pm
Southern in the City:
A person who marries a Catholic is likely always forbidden from the throne:
See:
8(2) Halsbury's Laws of England par 39, states: "a person who is a Roman Catholic or marries a Roman Catholic, is excluded from inheriting, possessing or enjoying the Crown [...]".
see here
It is a matter of statutory interpretation though, so it's currently an open debate. The last person excluded from succession because they married a catholic was Ragnhild Lorentzen of Norway who married a Catholic in 2003.
see here

The highest person excluded because of the Acts of Settlement is the Earl of St. Andrews, George Windsor. He would be 23st in line of succession (Ragnhild would be 71st). see here

It's all very silly and pretty antiquated, but fascinating nonetheless.
8.25.2006 1:11pm
David Walser:
So, it would be okay if the heir to the throne were to leave the Churh of England and become, say, a Mormon -- just not a Catholic? Strange stuff.
8.25.2006 1:11pm
Randy R. (mail):
History certainly is stranger than fiction!
8.25.2006 1:18pm
Tracy Johnson (www):
He's been told not to date a Catholic, I presume?
8.25.2006 1:18pm
TO (mail):
I'm waiting for the law review article that connects this to the prison guards research.
8.25.2006 1:31pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
Isn't it obvious? Gavin Peters's comment above shows how, through delegation, the British monarchs have been able to shirk their duty not to be Catholic by having possibly Catholic Governors General to act in their stead. Allowing the coercive powers of the state to be exercised by prison guards is delegation big time, and without the continuous and very public oversight that we have for a high-ranking government official like a Governor General. Prisons multiply the risk of Catholicism a thousand-fold!
8.25.2006 1:36pm
ys:
Eastern Orthodox, whether Romanian, Serbian or Russian, is also apparently ok. No East-West schism there, just North-South.
8.25.2006 1:37pm
CJColucci:
We should start expanding the line of succession to the presidency. Just think, every native-born American over 35 would get a number. I once began a political thriller based on this premise. Number 673 was gradually knocking off everyone in his way. You'll probably be glad to know I soon scrapped it.
8.25.2006 1:49pm
Dan Hamilton:

He's been told not to date a Catholic, I presume?


Why? He can date them he just can't marry them.

Boys just want to have fun? Don't they.
8.25.2006 1:50pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
So, what happens if the heir to the throne comes here to Aspen or Vail to ski, shacks up with a Catholic, they pretend like they are married by singing in jointly? Common law marriage?

Actually, I understand that it takes more than merely signing into a hotel as married, at least here in CO, but common law marriage has always scared me, for that reason.

Or, another scenerio, heir meets a Catholic of the opposite sex, and they go somewhere like CO with common law marriage. Maybe they sign in as married, maybe not. But then later, the Catholic sents a photoshopped picture of them having a marriage ceremony to the heir and asks for $1 million to keep it secret. $10,000? At some point, I would think it might just pay the heir or his/her family to make this go away. And, interestingly to me, a wedding picture would be a lot more damage than a picture showing the heir engaging in sex, regardless of the sex of the partner (and maybe even species).
8.25.2006 1:57pm
Gordo:
Speaking of plots:

Anyone seen this movie?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274166/plotsummary
It's actually pretty funny
8.25.2006 2:08pm
A.S.:
Anyone seen this movie?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274166/plotsummary
It's actually pretty funny


Yeah, that was the first movie I thought of also.

But, no, it's not funny.
8.25.2006 2:11pm
guest:
Doesn't Israel also have numerous laws which favor one religion over another?
8.25.2006 2:11pm
Hoosier:
Bruce--As long as the, say, goat is a Protestant.

The current justification for the law is the status of the King/Queen as head of the Anglican Church and Defender of the Faith.

It may come as a surprise, but I find the first of these to have some validity: The head of a denomination should belong to that denomination, and so should his/her spouse. Otherwise, the Head's commitment to the religion starts looking shakey.

The continued use of the term "Defender of the Faith" rankles, however, since it was given to Henry VIII by Pope Leo X. That makes it a bit tough to swallow that he and his successors have kept using the title.

One often hears criticism of the royal headship of the Anglicans on the basis of the rancid behavior of the Windsors in recent generations. Charles will presumably be the head of the English church, despite all the People Magazine behavior. But as a Catholic, I would have to defend the right of very flawed people to embody a faith. Many popes have been very poor Christians, beginning with the first of them, at times.
8.25.2006 2:15pm
Hoosier:
Sorry--Forgot to make the (obvious) point that the Germans currently claiming to be the "Windsor Dynasty" are in fact usurpers. Only the decendants of the last rightful king--James II--should be in the line of succession.
8.25.2006 2:20pm
poster child (mail):
Check out who's #3 in our own presidential line of succession...pretty scary

8.25.2006 2:29pm
poster child (mail):
don't know why the link didn't work, here it is...

presidential line of succession
8.25.2006 2:30pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Dan Hamilton: Don't you know that Catholic girls start much too late?

Of course, if it sooner or later comes down to fate, I guess that Prince William might as well be the one, in the eyes of many Catholic girls.
8.25.2006 2:44pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Only the decendants of the last rightful king--James II--should be in the line of succession.

Remember when you drink to the king to hold a saucer of water under the table so you are drinking to the King Over the Water!

Actually, England did have a (Roman) Catholic head of the (English) Catholic Church--the same James II. It didn't work out very well (grin) which occasioned the limits on succession.

And it faced another crisis when the future George IV married an RC while on the continent. George III had the marriage annulled (which also didn't turn out very well).

But England had a long run of non-English monarchs. James I, from Scotland. Then three native-born kings, then William and Mary (William being from the Netherlands), then George I and I think II (one or both of whom barely spoke English).

I saw one American televised program on the British monarch (perhaps the marriage of Charles to Dianna?) where the talking head expressed admiration for their so-many centuries of "unbroken monarchy" or something like that. I chuckled -- it's only unbroken if you don't count, oh, monarchs killed off by their successors, or their subjects, or run into exile. And forget about Cromwell.
8.25.2006 2:49pm
Houston Lawyer:
I thought there was also an issue of whether Charles could be king because of his divorce. Or did Di's death somehow clear that one up?
8.25.2006 3:09pm
Gavin Peters (mail):
I'd buy Hoosier's argument that the rule is wise since Defender of the Faith should be Anglican more if it was a proscription that the Monarchy succeed to an Anglican, or at least some kind of protestant.

Right now, succession by a Jewish, Mormon, Buddhist or Muslim person is fine. It's just the papists who are cut out.

Another odd tidbit: Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the second, is a descendant of Mohammad (through marriages from the Spanish monarchy), and therefore many muslims end their daily prayers wishing her (and her cohort of codescendants) well.
8.25.2006 3:23pm
MJH (mail):
Isn't this all just another way to keep the Irish from getting in control.
8.25.2006 3:32pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the second, is a descendant of Mohammad (through marriages from the Spanish monarchy)

Is this true? Do you have a source for that?
8.25.2006 3:47pm
Bored Lawyer:
I also heard that the Queen can trace her lineage back to King David of Biblical fame. Don't know if there is anything to it.
8.25.2006 3:55pm
Shelby (mail):
England, Shmengland. Sasha retains his title as King of the Obscure.
8.25.2006 4:00pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Shouldn't the head of the modern Anglican church be gay, obviating all this argle-bargle about who marries whom? But then there's gay marriage... sigh.
8.25.2006 4:08pm
SamChevre:
On the topic of obscure--one of my favorite obscure historical characters is Harald Hardrada (Harold the hard-ass), the last King of Norway to invade England.

He went from Norway to Constantinople via Russia; led armies from Constantinople to Syria, to Algeria, and to Sicily; went back to Norway and became king; and finally died fighting in England.

He probably deserves as much credit for Guillaume le Bâtard's victory as Hastings as William himself.
8.25.2006 4:13pm
rarango (mail):
A Norwegian on the throne of the UK--hmmm: the rise of Sven and Ole Jokes; Lutefisk replaces steak and kidney pie as equally gross national foods--the mind boggles.
8.25.2006 4:15pm
Robert West (mail) (www):
David --- historically speaking, at the time that the law was adopted, there was still a strong fear that a Catholic monarch would attempt to reintroduce Catholicism and stamp out Anglicanism.

The fear that King James II would do just that was one of the original motivating factors behind the revolt against him.
8.25.2006 4:20pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
So, it would be okay if the heir to the throne were to leave the Churh of England and become, say, a Mormon -- just not a Catholic? Strange stuff.

In 1701, the English population of Mormons was rather low (grin). Basically, Englishmen were Rome, England, or other protestant. The last had been pretty vigorously cracked down on under the Tudors, but by the early 1700s were grudgingly tolerated (I forget when the Toleration Act was passed, but it was around there). James II had tried to reach out to the misc. protestants, without much success. So, in the context of the time, the limitation to RCs was logical.

Some of the statutes and battles of the time are a bit amusing. They'd pass statutes requiring that everyone attend Church oF England services. The other protestants would do so, then go off to their own, or attend official services just a few times a year. So they passed Occasional Conformity Acts to penalize that.

Another amusing thing: Church of England clergy have "apostolic succession" (basically, their pedigree, which means official status -- a bishop must trace his "ancestors" as it were back to an apostle) under Roman Catholic law. All their original bishops started out as Roman Catholic, and thus had the ability to consecrate more bishops under RC canon law. They could be ordered not to do so, but even so, their actions were valid if undertaken. For this reason the RC church has always worried about a bishop going over the hill, in a way it didn't worry about a priest (who cannot ordain new priests).

When I was a kid, and Roman Catholicism was stricter, the instructions were that if you were dying, get an RC priest. If you can't, get an Episcopalian, since any sacraments they administer are valid.
8.25.2006 4:54pm
cathyf:
And, interestingly to me, a wedding picture would be a lot more damage than a picture showing the heir engaging in sex, regardless of the sex of the partner (and maybe even species).
I was in England in the early nineties when Charles' phone-sex conversation with Camilla was tapped. I was somewhat amused at all the Brits who were *aghast* that this might cause a divorce. Because it was fine to have a monarch with fantasies about being Camilla's knickers, but *gasp* they couldn't have a divorced guy next in line to the throne!

Oh, and for other trivia, Camilla's ex-husband is Catholic, and Charles' stepchildren (one or both of whom may or may not be Charles' biological children) are both Catholic.

cathy :-)
8.25.2006 4:56pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Another amusing bit of history: one of James' big mistakes was the prosecute seven bishops for seditious libel. They had refused to read one of his proclamations (reading being the equivalent of publishing a rule in the federal register, I gather) appointing some RCs to officer posts. They personally appealed to him, and were prosecuted. The jury acquitted.

It illustrated, I thought, the power of juries in days when trials were often before multiple judges. The first judge essentially ordered the jury to find them guility -- seditious libel consisted of any ordinary person meddling in the government, which was none of his business. The second judge instructed them that it could not be libel, since they had only spoken to the king himself, and you could not libel the king, to the king. The two judges then got into an argument before the jury. Apparently at the time, judges' instructions were more like advice, with the jury then hashing out the law based on which judge seemed more authoritative.
8.25.2006 5:00pm
Hoosier:
David--

Keep in mind that the succession is valid, but not licit, under cannon law. Best not to stray far from RC clergy if you plan on dying any time soon.

But an Orthodox priest can do the job in a pinch. He just probably won't *want* to, if he finds you're a papist.
8.25.2006 5:10pm
Porkchop (mail):
Rarango,

Those lucky Englishmen will be able to top off their dinners of lutefisk and melted butter with with a nice sheet of lefse slathered with more butter, "sprinkled" with sugar to a depth of a centimeter or so, and rolled up like a big fat cigar. Uffdah!

Also, no more tea in the UK -- they can drink coffee like the rest of us -- preferably after it has simmered in the pot long enough so that a spoon stands in the cup with no support.

And the "faith" to be defended will, of course, be Lutheran.

Personally, I'd like to make them wear horned helmets, too, but real Vikings didn't actually do that, so I'll stick with lutefisk, lefse, Luther, and lots of coffee. It's all good for cardiovascular health!
8.25.2006 5:19pm
Tracy Johnson (www):
Hoosier and Dave must be Jacobites!
8.25.2006 5:21pm
Gavin Peters (mail):
Sascha,

I didn't have a good source handy when you asked for a citation on Elizabeth II's descent from MOhammad, however, I have found a good one from alt.talk.royalty (forgive the long paste)


01. Mohammed "The Prophet of Islam", d632
02. Kalthum (dau)
= Utayba, son of Abu Lahab
03. Ayyub (dau)
= Abd-al-Malik, [11th] Caliph [at Damascus, Syria] 685-705 [son of
Marwan I, [10th] Caliph [at Damascus, Syria] 684-5, [&wife Aisha
"bint Uthman"], son of Al-Hakim, son of Abul'as, son of Umayyah, from
whom the "Umayyids" derive their name]
04. Hisham I, [16th] Caliph [at Damascus, Syria] 724-743 [his bro
Abdul Yazid al-Wallid, was the 2nd husband of Egilom, dau of Rodrigo
de Balthes, the late Visi-Gothic King of Spain]
05. Muawiya, came to Spain with uncle
06. Abd-ar-Rahman I, Emir of Cordova [Muslim Spain]
07. Hisham I, Emir of Cordova, d799
08. Al-Hakam I, Emir of Cordova, d822
09. Abd-ar-Rahman II, Emir Cordova, d852
10. Muhammed I, Emir of Cordova, d886
11. Abd-Allah, Emir of Cordova, d912
12. Muhammed
13. Abd-al-Rahman III, Emir of Cordova, d961
14. Al-Hakam II, Emir of Cordova; anti-Caliph [in Spain]
15. Muhammed
16. Abd-al-Rahman IV, Emir of Cordova, d1022
17. Hisham III, [last] Emir of Cordova, d1031
18. Almoravita
= Velo Ingiguez
19. Ingio Velez
20. Ladrono Iniguez
21. Velo Ladronez
22. Juan Velez
23. Teresa
= Fernando Ruiz
24. Teresa
= Lope Ortiz de Zuniga
25. Fortunio Lopez
26. Maria
= Pedro Ruiz
27. Gonsalo
28. Fernando Gonsalez
= Aldonza Ramirez
29. Maria de Henestrona
= Juan Garcias de Padilla
30. Maria de Padilla
= Pedro "The Cruel", King of Castile-Leon
30. Isabelle (1355-1394)
= Edmund of Langley, Duke of York, England
31. Richard, Earl of Cambridge, d1415
= Anne Mortimer, heiress of the Clarence line
32. Richard, Duke of York
= Cecily Neville
33. Edward IV, King of England 1461-1483
etc
descent to Queen Elizabeth
8.25.2006 5:35pm
ruidh (www):
"It may come as a surprise, but I find the first of these to have some validity: The head of a denomination should belong to that denomination, and so should his/her spouse. Otherwise, the Head's commitment to the religion starts looking shakey."

Except that the Queen is also the titular head of the Church of Scotland which is Prebyterian and not Anlgican.
8.25.2006 5:42pm
Gabriel (mail) (www):
When I was a kid, and Roman Catholicism was stricter, the instructions were that if you were dying, get an RC priest. If you can't, get an Episcopalian, since any sacraments they administer are valid.

You were sadly misinformed. Pope Leo XIII, after investigating the historical operation of Anglican ordinations, declared their orders invalid in Apostolicae Curae in 1896.
8.25.2006 5:53pm
Ian H Spedding FCD (mail):

Those lucky Englishmen will be able to top off their dinners of lutefisk and melted butter with with a nice sheet of lefse slathered with more butter, "sprinkled" with sugar to a depth of a centimeter or so, and rolled up like a big fat cigar. Uffdah!


Having recently moved to Fargo from the UK, I must say I am enjoying such delicacies, Uffdah Tacos in particular.


Also, no more tea in the UK -- they can drink coffee like the rest of us -- preferably after it has simmered in the pot long enough so that a spoon stands in the cup with no support.


The only way you'll stop us drinking tea is when you pry the teapots from our cold, dead hands!
8.25.2006 6:11pm
BobH (mail):
How about if the male monarch marries a woman who, though Anglican, has a Jewish maternal grandmother? Won't their child (first in line for the throne), be Jewish? King Shmuel I!!
8.25.2006 6:16pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
Gabriel: Dave Hardy is clearly very, very old.
8.25.2006 6:17pm
marc:
The rightful king of Great Britain will be, within not so many years, Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein.
8.25.2006 6:23pm
Bob Woolley:
Fascinating stuff about British succession. But you didn’t look far enough down the list, I’m afraid, to see the really ominous potential. At 816, you’ve got Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, followed by a bunch of her kin.

As Nigel Powers (played by Michael Caine) so aptly said in “Goldmember,” “There's only two things I hate in this world: people who are intolerant of other people's cultures--and the Dutch.”
8.25.2006 7:08pm
Andrew Hamilton (mail):
on a claimant to the throne getting disentangled from a Catholic marriage, I guess that if Paris was worth a Mass to Henri IV, London is at least worth an annulment.
8.25.2006 7:09pm
BT:
Regarding presidential succession here in the good ole US of A, what happens if the first 14 guys get knocked off? Who then? I would nominate Freder Frederson, but it seems he no longer posts here. Oh well.
8.25.2006 7:10pm
Syd Henderson's Cat (mail):
Currently the rightful king is Franz, the titular Duke of Bavaria, who is Francis II of England, Scotland and Ireland. Then it goes through his brother Max, then Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein, then, the aforementioned Joseph Wenzel, who will unite the crowns of England, Scotland, Wales, and Liechtenstein in his person. I wonder: do the Stuart claimants also get to call themselves Kings of France, since the usurper George III was the one to drop that title?
8.25.2006 7:11pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Cathy: It wasn't knickers, it was a tampon.

In the late 90s, Charles was trying to get that particular rule overturned and to make the King/Queen of Engliand no longer the head of the Church. I think he's had to put that idea on hold until HRH Mom kicks it.
8.25.2006 7:20pm
CJColucci:
Not that Charles deserves much sympathy, but imagine what it must be like knowing that the whole point of your life is waiting for your mother to die and, given the longevity of these Hanoverians, knowing that you'll probably be eligible for the UK version of social security when it finally happens. Until then, you really don't have a function. Maybe being Camilla's tampon would have been an improvement.
8.25.2006 7:44pm
Porkchop (mail):

Gabriel: Dave Hardy is clearly very, very old.

Sadly, I knew Dave Hardy when he and I were very, very young. :-(
8.25.2006 8:39pm
liberty (mail) (www):
>Check out who's #3 in our own presidential line of succession...pretty scary

Not sure why he is so scary, but anyone else find it odd that the Sec. Treas is #5? We aren't a state controlled economy; why is that position ahead of Sec. Defense? And, anyway, aren't most of these positions in the line-up pretty lame? I mean, the Sec of Housing and Urban Development? The Sec of Education? These are who we choose to succeed the president?

Well, I guess we're not expecting the top 3 to all get knocked off, but a well planned terror attck that takes them out at once (no chance to hide the successors) could do it.
8.25.2006 9:12pm
liberty (mail) (www):
Top 4 I should say, and really, I would think that #4 should be #2 and National Security Advisor should be after that... where did we come up with this list?
8.25.2006 9:23pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
We're also not a military controlled government; why should the Secretary of Defense be special? This is just the simple rule that (after the two Congressional officers) succession goes in the order that the departments (or their equivalents) were created -- somewhat arbitrary, but probably about as good as any alternative rule.
8.25.2006 9:24pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
If we were in that kind of catastrophe, perhaps, if anything, we might want the National Security Advisor and Secretary of Defense to stay in their positions, doing what they (hopefully) do best?
8.25.2006 9:26pm
liberty (mail) (www):
"We're also not a military controlled government; why should the Secretary of Defense be special? "

At least defense is constitutional.

"If we were in that kind of catastrophe, perhaps, if anything, we might want the National Security Advisor and Secretary of Defense to stay in their positions, doing what they (hopefully) do best?"

And let Roger Rabbit be president?
8.25.2006 9:37pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
I'll assume that first part of your answer, about constitutionality, was a joke. :)

As to your second point, what follows is mostly speculation. It seems that when the President and others die, we want the sort of politician who would make a good President. It's not obvious that we want someone who's all into military stuff, even though in that circumstance we're probably under attack; while there would be the advantage of experience, there would also be the disadvantage that the Secretary of Defense or the National Security Advisor might be too closely associated with a trigger-happy, pro-military strategy, and it might be good to have someone who isn't wedded to a particular strategy. It might be good to have, say, State and Defense duking it out and having a President who can listen to their views and then decide.

(Of course, under the current system, sometimes the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense will be President. But this isn't an argument for never letting them be President; it's just an argument for not giving them an inherent leg up because of their subject area.)

Now who's a good politician to replace the President? The high-ranking Congressional officers at #3 and #4 qualify that way; and Cabinet members are probably the closest you can come otherwise within the Executive Branch. Now, it's true that cabinet members are often narrowly focused on their own subject areas and don't have all-around experience (is that what you mean by "Roger Rabbit"?); but it's not clear who else you would get within the Executive Branch.

Perhaps that's an argument for going further down into the Legislative Branch and bringing in high-ranking members on Senate or House committees; but that increases the chance that you'd have a President of a different party than the rest of the Executive Branch.
8.25.2006 10:05pm
Gabriel (mail) (www):
What a great number of Jacobites popping up! I too look forward to Queen Sophie.
8.25.2006 10:24pm
liberty (mail) (www):
1. It was not entirely a joke: the expansion of economic policy into unconstitutional areas (while not nec. the domain of the treasury, which clearly is constitutional) toward a state controlled economy is clearly an issue. If I thought our military were growing into this area, I'd have made the same comment per that position. (The Sec. Treas certainly advises and monitors in areas of dubious constitutionality, and could have been much worse given FDR's penchant for national banking, etc.)

2. At least Sec. State; Defense and Nat. Security Advirsor know about an important area - a crucial area if such a terror attack were to occur, killing the Pres, VP and any others in line before them. Obviously in such a circumstance, national security and defense would become top priority quickly. Having the Sec. of Education take over would be like handing the presidency to a randomly chosen lottery winner. There is little likelyhood that the person could handle the crisis -- even with good advisors.
8.25.2006 10:27pm
TOO (mail):
The debate about what would happen if the Secretary of Education became President was actually played out in the new Battlestar Galactica series. It's all fiction, but they do get into some of the issues about the Presidential Succession, civilian vs. military government, dealing with an attack that kills the majority of the human race, and so forth.

Outside of the show, it's worth keeping in mind that the various secretaries are in charge of very large portions of the federal government, and thus have more relevant experience to leading the country than a random guy on the street.
8.25.2006 11:04pm
Can't find a good name:
ruidh: Queen Elizabeth II is not the titular head of the Church of Scotland, just a member. See here.
8.26.2006 12:39am
Lev:

Sorry--Forgot to make the (obvious) point that the Germans currently claiming to be the "Windsor Dynasty" are in fact usurpers. Only the decendants of the last rightful king--James II--should be in the line of succession.


If memory serves, QE2 is directly descended from the James' of Scotland. A daughter was married to a something etc. ending up in the German chain leading to QE2.
8.26.2006 1:40am
Lev:
Norway is so meek and pusillanimous these days, the most vigorous act they can do is have the Snørting give the Nobel Peace Prize to Carter in order to show their displeasure with Bush The Younger. In a few years they will completely lose control of their own country to The Religion of Peace.

Take over UK. Ha!
8.26.2006 1:43am
marc:
By all means, let Prinz Joseph Wenzel claim also the throne of St Louis: he has as much right to it as the extant Bourbon pretenders.
8.26.2006 2:43am
marc:
BT-- I saw Freder Frederson commenting at Rod Dreher's site just lately: seemed, ahem, most definitely to be the same F. F.; one of the Catholic sites, anyway.
8.26.2006 2:55am
David Smallberg:
Regarding Queen Elizabeth's descent from Mohammed: If you accept
Mark Humphrys's pretty convincing arguments, Sasha is also a descendant of Mohammed, as is every living human of European descent, and perhaps almost every living human. (Of course, by Humphrys's arguments, Mohammed is not unique in this respect; millions of other people alive in his time would also be such a common ancestor.)
8.26.2006 3:07am
David Smallberg:
The takeover by Norway need not be permanent. Suppose a future King Henrik of England and Norway had a daughter Nora and then a son Torvald. If Henrik dies, Torvald becomes King of England only, and Nora becomes Queen of Norway only (since females born after 1990 do not defer to younger males in the Norwegian succession). The crowns might go through some cycles of reuniting and separating. For example, if Nora's line died out while Torvald's first-born child, a male, was King of England, the crowns would be reunited, but then the situation would be the same as when Henrik was King.

(BTW, this year is the centennial of another Henrik's death.)
8.26.2006 4:38am
jgshapiro (mail):

Now who's a good politician to replace the President? The high-ranking Congressional officers at #3 and #4 qualify that way; and Cabinet members are probably the closest you can come otherwise within the Executive Branch.

The president pro tem is not a high ranking officer of the Senate in any meaningful sense. It is usually (always?) occupied by the longest serving senator in the majority party.

It would make more sense for the #4 spot to go to the Senate Majority Leader. For that matter, it would make more sense for the House Majority Leader to be in there somewhere too; perhaps the Whips as well. My guess is that the House Majority Whip has more of a mandate to run the government from representatives of a majority of the people than the Secretary of Veteran's Affairs.

Perhaps that's an argument for going further down into the Legislative Branch and bringing in high-ranking members on Senate or House committees; but that increases the chance that you'd have a President of a different party than the rest of the Executive Branch.

If that is the goal, you shouldn't have the Speaker or President Pro Tem at all. But if you do, and you have them before the cabinet, why then rush back to the cabinet before going to any of the other principal leaders of Congress? The priority really makes no sense.

BTW, where is the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence? Aren't those both cabinet ranks? What about U.N. Ambassador and U.S. Trade Rep?
8.26.2006 6:37am
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
David Smallberg's scenario of division and reuniting of the English/Norwegian crown is similar to how the kings of England stopped being also kings of Hanover: George I was king of both, and so were several of his descendants, but when Victoria became queen of England in 1837, she couldn't become queen of Hanover because of Salic law (male line) issues.
8.26.2006 9:40am
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
heaven forbid, if a norwegian is king of england he'll decree sharia law.
8.26.2006 10:54am
just wondering:
Sorry to be so late to the conversation, but I needed a little time to study the list. Do you all realize that none of those people have ever been in my kitchen? Well, maybe one or two of the "excluded for proximity to popery" folks, but what good does that do me?
8.26.2006 12:28pm
dearieme:
The highest on the list that I've met is #82. Mind you, she's much superior to your present President or his predecessor. But then most of us are, aren't we?
8.26.2006 2:28pm
David Wangen (mail):

If that is the goal, you shouldn't have the Speaker or President Pro Tem at all. But if you do, and you have them before the cabinet, why then rush back to the cabinet before going to any of the other principal leaders of Congress? The priority really makes no sense.


You'd have to ask Pres. Truman (as Wiki notes, the last revision of the succession was signed into law in 1947, adding the Speaker and President pro tem back in. Between 1886 and 1947, the cabinet was the only line of succession, and before 1886 the President pro tem and the Speaker were the only ones in sucession)



BTW, where is the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence? Aren't those both cabinet ranks? What about U.N. Ambassador and U.S. Trade Rep?


Homeland Security wasn't added to the succession when it was created. There is legislation pending to do so. (Currently, the succession runs in order that the departments were created, but Homeland Security, if passed, will get added after the AG and before SecInterior).

The others you mention may be considered "cabinet-level", meaning they can attend cabinet meetings, but they are not officially part of the Cabinet.
8.26.2006 4:55pm
big dirigible (mail) (www):
"Norway has been trying to take over England since the year 787!"

Hmmm. My memory of that era is not what it once was ... but wasn't the last attempt by a Norwegian monarch to assert his claim to what, at the time, passed for the English throne, more like 1066? The collapse of the North Sea Kingdom after the death of King Canute left claimants scattered about, and the issue reached crisis proportion with the death of Edward the Confessor. One of the claimants, Harald of Norway, with an assist from the treasonous Earl Tostig, gave it a shot at Stamford Bridge but lost to Harold Godwinson, who had been elected King by those Saxon earls who happened to be around when needed. Of course the deaths of Harald and Tostig didn't take the pressure off for long, as William the Bastard landed at Pevensey a few days later, leading to the development of modern taxation.

Something like that, anyway.
8.26.2006 5:16pm
Toby:
IIRC, the succession rule as it runs through the Cabinet has to do with the order in which the agewncies were created. The Senior Cabinet Seat gets the nod.
8.26.2006 5:21pm
Jeremy Pierce (mail) (www):
Norway would be interesting, but it assumes the current line is legitimate. According to one scholar, it isn't, and he's probably right. According to him, the rightful king of England is an Aussie.
8.26.2006 5:31pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
Big dirigible: It's true, I'm unaware of any Norwegian attempt to take over England since the abortive attempt in 1066. That just means the Lindisfarne strategy has just been in extended dormancy since then, which just goes to show how insidious it is!

(This is even setting aside a broader theory, under which you can consider the Normans themselves Norwegian, in which case the unsuccessful Norwegian attempt in 1066 was followed by a successful Norwegian invasion later the same year, and it was Norwegians in England for centuries onward! Note: The Stuarts had Norman blood; William III (of Orange) had Stuart blood; not sure about the Hanoverians.)
8.26.2006 7:43pm
Lev:

Note: The Stuarts had Norman blood; William III (of Orange) had Stuart blood; not sure about the Hanoverians.)


Yes. I went to my outhouse reading, The World Almanac

House of Hanover:


George I - Son of Elector of Hanover, by Sophia, granddaughter of James I.


Hence through son/daughter/grandson etc. to QE2.
8.27.2006 12:15am
Mikeyes (mail):
Concerning the presidential succession, I thought that the controversy was that if the Speaker was killed in the terrorist scenario, the surviving Congressmen would just appoint another Speaker and that person would succeed. The cabinet would never become a factor unless the entire Congress was wiped out. What are the chances of that happeneing?

Also, in some states the governor just appoints a Member of Congress and that person votes for a Speaker.
8.28.2006 10:47am
Syd Henderson (mail):

Note: The Stuarts had Norman blood; William III (of Orange) had Stuart blood; not sure about the Hanoverians.)
William III was the son of Mary daughter of James I of England, but his better claim was that he was married to Mary, the daughter of James II, and they took the throne as joint monarchs. I always found it curious that William III was allowed to stay on the throne when Mary II died, since Anne had a better claim than he did. Partly I guess it was because the War of the League of Augsburg was going on at the time and William was the ruler of two of the nations involved; it didn't seem like a good idea to separate them at the time.
8.28.2006 7:33pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Make that four nations, since he was also king of Scotland and Ireland, and this was before the Act of Union.
8.28.2006 7:35pm
David Smallberg:

I always found it curious that William III was allowed to stay on the throne when Mary II died, since Anne had a better claim than he did.

Actually, that was decided well before Mary died. In the same year William and Mary were crowned (1689), the Bill of Rights established that if Mary died, William would continue to rule. Mary died five years later.
8.29.2006 5:21am