Thursday, July 26, 2007

Order of precedence - America's seating chart

The order of precedence is the official government list of the social rank of various current and former U.S. government officials, foreign dignitaries and, curiously, cardinals and archbishops, put out by the office of the President. There seems to be some slight disagreements in ranks between the various copies of the list I found because they do or don't include certain people, like spouses, but the top usually goes:

  • President of the United States
  • Vice-president of the United States
  • Governor (in own state)
  • Mayor (in own city)
  • Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • Chief Justice of the United States
  • Former Presidents of the United States
  • American Ambassadors (at Post)
  • Secretary of State
  • Secretary General of the United Nations
  • Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Foreign Powers accredited to the United States (in order of the presentation of their credentials)
  • Widows of former Presidents of the United States
  • Ministers of Foreign Powers accredited to the United States
  • Associate Justices of the Supreme Court
  • Retired Chief Justices
  • Retired Associate Justices of the Supreme Court
  • Members of the Cabinet
  • President Pro Tempore of the Senate
  • Senators (according to length of continuous service)
  • Governors (when outside own state)
  • Former Vice Presidents
  • Members of House of Representatives (according to length of continuous service
Socially, at least, Hillary Clinton outranks all other Senators when attending a function with Bill.

Retired military officials seem to retain quite a high social ranking. Retired 4-star Generals and Admirals rank directly below active duty officers of the same rank and above active duty 3-stars.

State Governors are ranked by the order of their state's admission to the union, but Senators and members of Congress are ranked by personal senority.

Wikipedia has a nice (but incomplete) order of precedence page that shows which retired officials and widows are still around, plus how long each member of Congress has held office here.

I couldn't find where ordinary American citizens rank socially...


Blogger Retired Geezer said...

I was pleasantly surprised to see Leviathan on your 'Books that changed my life' post at Paterico.

I liked it a lot, myself. Read it 3 times.

Ever read 'Amok' by George Fox?

Amok is used as a Noun...

12:49 PM  
Blogger alphie said...

I have not read Amok rg.

George Fox has one screenwriting credit...he co-wrote "Earthquake" with Mario Puzo of "The Godfather" fame.

Strange career.

Amok is out of print, I'll check for it the next time I go to the library.

4:30 PM  
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