FEINGOLD TO INTRODUCE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ENDING GUBERNATORIAL APPOINTMENTS TO SENATE VACANCIES
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, issued the following statement today on plans to introduce an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to end appointments to the Senate by state governors and require special elections in the event of a Senate seat vacancy.
“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 supported seating Roland Burris, and I think Gillibrand is a pretty decent pick (though for NY, we could've gotten somebody more solidly progressive). I'm generally in favor of executing whatever legal process we have as efficiently and fairly as possible.
But that doesn't mean we can't improve that process. The people should choose their Senators when there's a vacancy, the same as when there's a regular election.