2

Does a person running for President of the USA need to pass any medical examination?

12

Nowhere in the Constitution does it require the President to undergo any kind of medical examination to qualify for office.

Article II, Sec. 1 states that the qualifications for President are as follows:

  • Must be at least 35 years of age.
  • Must be a natural-born citizen of the United States.
  • Must have been a resident of the United States at least 14 years.

Additionally, the 20th and 25th amendments establish a line of succession upon death or disability of the President while in office, but do not affect the actual qualifications to be elected.

To require any other kind of qualification for the office would require a constitutional amendment. It could not be imposed as a simple matter of law.


In recent years, Presidential candidates have been subjected to increased scrutiny regarding their age and health. Concerns over John McCain's age and an alleged cover-up of Hillary Clinton's deteriorating health have made news cycles. Bernie Sanders' age has also been cited as a concern.

Additionally, a lot of rhetoric has been stirred up regarding candidates' past financial dealings, causing some candidates to disclose their federal tax returns.

All of these issues, however, are a matter of political wrangling, not a matter of law. The Constitution makes no requirement for any qualification beyond what is outlined above.

  • 2
    There is an implicit assumption that the person is actually still alive though at the moment electoral votes are cast though. And not all candidates have met it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1872 – origimbo Sep 2 '16 at 17:13
  • @origimbo Well, I don't think that's an implicit assumption. If you are not alive, you don't have age any more. – Rathony Sep 2 '16 at 17:58
  • 1
    @Rathony The way the clause is worded appears to make that specific argument slightly more complicated than you'd think: "neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States." The test is whether you once turned 35, rather than whether you are now. – origimbo Sep 2 '16 at 18:08
  • @origimbo Well, as long as you are dead no matter when you died and whether you turned 35 before or not, you don't have any age on Inauguration Day. So, you are disqualified. – Rathony Sep 2 '16 at 18:20
  • You may want to add the controversy over Donald Trump's doctor's note to the list washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/08/27/… – rougon Sep 3 '16 at 3:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .