Are Statutes Constraining Gubernatorial Power to Make Temporary Appointments to the Senate Constitutional under the Seventeenth Amendment?

25 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2008

See all articles by Vikram D. Amar

Vikram D. Amar

University of Illinois College of Law

Abstract

Last summer, when Republican U.S. Senator Craig Thomas died, a Wyoming statute obligated the state Governor, a Democrat, to pick a replacement (to serve until an election was held) from among three names submitted by state Republican party leadership. At least two other states have statutes that similarly obligate governors to temporarily fill Senate vacancies using short lists compiled by state party officials. This Article argues, based on the text, structure and history of the Seventeenth Amendment and related provisions and concerns, that such statutes violate the Constitution.

Keywords: Seventeenth Amendment, Senate election, Senate vacancy, Gubernatorial Appointment

Suggested Citation

Amar, Vikram D., Are Statutes Constraining Gubernatorial Power to Make Temporary Appointments to the Senate Constitutional under the Seventeenth Amendment?. Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Vol. 35, 2008; UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 131. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1103590

Vikram D. Amar (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

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