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Old January 9, 2011, 01:23 PM   #1
rwilson452
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Giffords

From a legal point of view, if Giffords is unable to resume her duties in congress, what happens to her seat?
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Last edited by rwilson452; January 9, 2011 at 01:30 PM.
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Old January 9, 2011, 01:38 PM   #2
carguychris
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The replacement of a representative who is unable to fulfill his/her duties in Congress is a matter of state law.
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Old January 9, 2011, 02:40 PM   #3
maestro pistolero
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Perhaps a little premature to speculate. May she recover fully.
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Old January 9, 2011, 07:18 PM   #4
rwilson452
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I knew that. I don 't know the law in AZ.




Quote:
The replacement of a representative who is unable to fulfill his/her duties in Congress is a matter of state law.
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Old January 9, 2011, 09:07 PM   #5
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It may depend on how long before the next election, but my last two representatives died in office, of natural causes, and they were replaced at the next general election. AZ may have different regulations.
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Old January 9, 2011, 09:12 PM   #6
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There are two ways that a representative is replaced. The first is by having a special election and the second is by appointment by the governor.

If you will remember in Massachusetts they played games with the requirements. First they changed the law to allow the governor to appoint a new person; but when Kennedy died they demanded the new senator be chosen by election.

You might want to look up the requirements on your state's webpage.
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Old January 9, 2011, 09:49 PM   #7
gc70
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Quote:
From a legal point of view, if Giffords is unable to resume her duties in congress, what happens to her seat?
The only direction in the Constitution is in Article 1, Section 2, Clause 4: "When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies."

There is no provision in the Constitution for removing members of Congress for being unable to perform their duties. Member of Congress remain such until the end of their elected terms unless they die, resign, accept an incompatible office, or are expelled.

Last edited by gc70; January 11, 2011 at 02:10 PM. Reason: added acceptance of an incompatible office
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Old January 10, 2011, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
There are two ways that a representative is replaced. The first is by having a special election and the second is by appointment by the governor.
House seats are only filled by election, can be a special one. Senate seats in some states are filled by the Governers
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Old January 10, 2011, 08:16 PM   #9
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I'm pretty sure Wally is right.
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Old January 11, 2011, 12:38 PM   #10
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According to this article from the Associated Press, published in the Kansas City Star, the House would have to vote to vacate her seat; but this has happened only once, in the case of Rep. Gladys N. Spellman (D-MD.), who was left in a coma following a heart attack, shortly before she was re-elected to Congress in 1980. In February of the following year, the House voted to vacate her seat and "directed the governor of Maryland to take appropriate measures to fill the vacancy."

More recently, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) was unable to serve for eight months after he was incapacitated by a stroke; but he did return to the Senate, and he was re-elected in 2008.

I hope that Rep. Giffords' recovery follows a similar course, and that she too is able to resume her duties.
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Old January 11, 2011, 02:08 PM   #11
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The names of Rep. Spellman and Senator Johnson led to this December 15, 2006 report from the Congressional Research Service on Incapacity of a Member of the Senate.

The report found:
Quote:
There is no specific protocol, procedure, or authority set out in the United States Constitution, federal law, or congressional rule for the Senate (or the House) to recognize “incapacity” of a sitting Member and thereby declare a “vacancy” in such office.
The report also found that:
Quote:
no such precedent exists for a sitting Member of either House who has taken the oath of office, and a vacancy with respect to such a sitting Member would generally exist only by virtue of resignation, death, acceptance of an incompatible office, or expulsion.
Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the Constitution provides the following with respect to expulsion:

Quote:
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Last edited by gc70; January 11, 2011 at 02:15 PM.
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Old January 22, 2011, 04:59 PM   #12
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This thread is about the law for succession. Post political ranting and invective after this warning and you are gone.

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Old January 22, 2011, 05:56 PM   #13
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AZ has a state law that an elected official that cannont/will not take his/her seat for 3 months may be removed and replaced, if I remember the news story correctly, because it really doesn't matter - the AZ legislature and Governor have apparently stated they would not remove Mrs Giffords from her seat while hope remains for her recovery.
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