Speaker of the House Law and Legal Definition

The Speaker of the House of Representatives refers to the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The Speaker is currently second in line after the Vice President to succeed to the U.S. presidency in the case of death or resignation of the President.

The Speaker of the House is ceremonially the highest ranking legislative official in the United States government. The office is authorized under the United States Constitution in the second section of the first article, which states:

"The House of Representatives shall chuse [sic] their Speaker and other Officers..."

Although not constitutionally required, all speakers to date have been members of the House. The speaker is almost always elected along strictly partisan lines, and is therefore a member of the House's majority party.