Feingold Introduces Amendment Banning Senatorial Appointments
Senator Russ Feingold has announced that he is introducing a Constitutional Amendment that would require states to hold a special election in the event of a Senate vacancy, rather than having a gubernatorial appointment.
“The controversies surrounding some of the recent gubernatorial appointments to vacant Senate seats make it painfully clear that such appointments are an anachronism that must end. In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution gave the citizens of this country the power to finally elect their senators. They should have the same power in the case of unexpected mid term vacancies, so that the Senate is as responsive as possible to the will of the people. I plan to introduce a constitutional amendment this week to require special elections when a Senate seat is vacant, as the Constitution mandates for the House, and as my own state of Wisconsin already requires by statute. As the Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee, I will hold a hearing on this important topic soon.”
I’m definitely behind this and, indeed, this is already the process used to fill House vacancies. There’s no real compelling reason to allow the governor of a state to appoint a Senate vacancy save for the sheer inertia of tradition. Here’s hoping this sails through.
(link via Steven Taylor)