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Dems To Pervert Law To Hold Byrd’s Seat

From a hand-rubbing New York Times:

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin speaks on the phone about the death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd Monday, June 28, 2010.

What Will Happen to Byrd’s Senate Seat?

By JEFF ZELENY

June 28, 2010

… Mr. Byrd, a Democrat who died early Monday at age 92, was the longest serving United States senator, having spent 51 years there. Now, in a competitive midterm election year, as Republicans work to win control of the House and Senate, do they suddenly have a fresh opportunity to pick up another seat?

The duty of selecting an interim successor to Mr. Byrd falls to Gov. Joe Manchin III, a Democrat. No announcements are expected on Monday or even this week, Democrats say, out of respect for Mr. Byrd and his family…

While the governor will appoint a fellow Democrat to serve as the next senator from West Virginia, it remains an open question how many months the appointed senator would serve.

Democrats believe that the filing deadline for November has passed and an interim senator should remain in office through the remainder of Mr. Byrd’s term, which ends on Jan. 3, 2013. But some Republicans believe that West Virginia law provides for a special election to be held in November because more than two and a half years of Mr. Byrd’s Senate term remains.

The question – being urgently explored by lawyers on both sides – could ultimately be decided in the courts.

If a special election is held in November, Republicans would be well positioned to pick up the seat, given the national mood and fragility of Democrats in West Virginia.

A Republican victory could put them within reach of winning control of the Senate.

But even Republican officials say this outcome is far from certain. Mr. Manchin has long held an interest in running for the seat, and other Democrats are also eager to serve, at least in an interim capacity…

Notice how The Times makes it sound like the Democrats have the law on their side. Of course, they do not.

From the West Virginia Code:

WEST VIRGINIA CODE

§3-10-3. Vacancies in offices of state officials, United States senators and judges. Any vacancy occurring in the office of secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, United States senator, judge of the supreme court of appeals or in any office created or made elective to be filled by the voters of the entire state, judge of a circuit court or judge of a family court is filled by the governor of the state by appointment.

If the unexpired term of a judge of the supreme court of appeals, a judge of the circuit court or judge of a family court is for less than two years or if the unexpired term of any other office named in this section is for a period of less than two years and six months, the appointment to fill the vacancy is for the unexpired term. If the unexpired term of any office is for a longer period than above specified, the appointment is until a successor to the office has timely filed a certificate of candidacy, has been nominated at the primary election next following such timely filing and has thereafter been elected and qualified to fill the unexpired term.

Proclamation of any election to fill an unexpired term is made by the governor of the state and, in the case of an office to be filled by the voters of the entire state, must be published prior to the election as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for the publication is each county of the state. If the election is to fill a vacancy in the office of judge of a circuit court or judge of a family court, the proclamation must be published prior to the election as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for such publication is each county in the judicial or family court circuit.

It’s pretty damn clear to us.

According to our calculations July 3rd would be 2 yrs, 6 months before Byrd’s term expires on January 4, 2013.

It would be a little ironic if the Democrats finagle the law, given that Mr. Byrd claimed to be such a stickler for rules.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 28th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Dems To Pervert Law To Hold Byrd’s Seat”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    It’s not like Byrd was really the Senator for the last few years.
    He and Ted Kennedy were just sock puppets who should have been in a retirement facility that insures they eat, bathe, take their meds and don’t hurt themselves.
    We have one of those in California too.
    Patricia Wiggins (D-2nd district) has to be led around by helpers and should retire instead of pushing whatever button she is told to push when the vote comes up.

  2. proreason says:

    Steve….stop it! You’re KILLING ME. Oh my aching sides.

    “It’s pretty damn clear to us.” ” if the Democrats finagle the rule” “stickler for rules”

    even my fingers are quivering with laughter.

    rules? citing the law? Oh my aching sides. What a card you are.

    The won Steve !!!! THEY make the rules.

  3. U NO HOO says:

    “According to our calculations July 3rd would be 2 yrs, 6 months before Byrd’s term expires on January 4, 2011.”

    2013?

    Just to eliminate possible confusion.

    OK?

  4. bill says:

    Laws and Obama, you surely jest.

    So who is going to force there to be an election?

  5. tranquil.night says:

    “has been nominated at the primary election next following such timely filing”

    This is the part with which my untrained eye legal eye is having trouble. Special elections normally don’t come with conventional primaries. Scozzafava vs Hoffman, NY-23, highlighted that scenario. So unless the law refers to the general election, then are the Dems claiming the time has passed because of expired primary dates?

    The law itself seems intentionally ambiguous, as Democrat legalese is usually constructed for such reasons.


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