Senate Vacancies and Appointments

Capitol, Washington DC

USA Today offers an editorial on the question of the Massachusetts senatorial succession, arguing Let Voters Replace Kennedy; alternatively, the Boston Globe urges that the Massachusetts legislature quickly change the law and reinstitute gubernatorial appointment of an interim senator. It’s a subject that has been thrust into the news with increasing frequency in the past few years (think about the Illinois and New York situations most recently), as emphasized in yesterday’s item New Focus On Senate Succession Practices in RealClearPolitics.

Virtually every state has a different method for filling such vacancies (Kansas has largely unrestricted gubernatorial appointment powers). If you want to explore the nitty gritty details of the question (aside from picking up a free copy of the Constitution on our Citizenship & Constitution Day this next month), take a look at the Congressional Research Service report from March of this year, Filling U.S. Senate Vacancies: Perspectives and Contemporary Developments. You might also wish to see another Congressional Research Service document, from 2003, House and Senate Vacancies: How Are They Filled?

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Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  

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