Utah Sen. Hatch serves as ‘Designated Survivor’ during Presidential Inauguration

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, as designated survivor, is sequestered in an undisclosed location during the 2017 Presidential Inauguration ceremonies. Hatch is next in line of succession to the president in the event the president and vice president become incapacitated or unable to serve. | Composite image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — As the nation gathered for the inauguration ceremony for President Donald Trump Friday, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch was sequestered in an undisclosed location, serving as the nation’s designated survivor.

A photo released by the White House, taken of Sen. Orrin Hatch at a secure and undisclosed location during Friday’s Presidential Inauguration festivities, Jan. 20, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the White House, St. George News

The designated successor – a position recently made popular by ABC’s hit drama “Designated Survivor” – is a person in the presidential line of succession who is held in a secure and undisclosed location when the president and other top leaders in the nation are gathered in one place, such as the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, a State of the Union address or a presidential address to a joint session of Congress.

The intended purpose is to guarantee there will be somebody who is in the presidential line of succession ready to take charge should – in a worst-case scenario – a catastrophic event kill the president, vice president and other top-ranking officials.

In such an occurrence, under the Presidential Succession Act, the surviving official highest in line would become the acting president of the United States.

As the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, Hatch, a seven-term Utah Republican, is currently third in line in succession to the presidency, after the vice president and speaker of the House of Representatives.

In a statement issued Friday, Hatch said that as much as he would have liked to participate in the inauguration ceremony and festivities, he was honored to perform the “important constitutional duty, which ensures the continuity of government.”

“Today, we observe a time-honored tradition of the world’s oldest democracy: the peaceful transition of power,” Hatch said. “This changing of the guard from one president to another is a defining feature of our Republic. At the request of President Donald Trump, I am honored to fulfill the role of designated presidential successor during the inauguration.”

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • wilbur January 20, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    He has “survived” too [email protected] long; time for him to go.

  • DB January 20, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Not being very athletic, in high school P.E I was often the “designated survivor”. I’m not a big Hatch fan, but I’ll take him any day as my D.S. over Pelosi or Reid. And yes, I know I simplified things a bit here…

  • utahdiablo January 20, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Term Limits are coming, just give Trump a chance….he’s not beholding to anyone.

    • .... January 21, 2017 at 10:03 am

      It takes more than just the president to put term limits in place and the people that vote on deciding on term limits are not going to vote yes on term limits and put themselves out of a job

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