Sujit Choudhry Takes A Look At Replacement Of A Senator

Sujit Choudhry; a renowned constitutional lawyer, recently went ahead to debunk the constitutional provisions that surround the replacement of a senator. This came in the wake of the sudden death of Senator John McCain who succumbed to brain cancer. Sujit says as much as it may be important to talk about his legacy, it is equally vital that we look at the constitutional provisions regarding the mechanisms of his replacement.

In his bid to look at the processes relating to the replacement of a senator who resigns, dies or is elected as president, Sujit makes reference to the Seventeenth Amendment. This amendment states that the governor of the state whose senator has died, resigned or elected president ought to appoint an acting senator until a time when an election takes place. However, this amendment is quite flexible and can be applied in several ways.

It would, however, be noted that this provision also works differently based on the states involved. Arizona, for instance, is one of the 36 states that allow the appointed senators to run for the seat in the next general election but can also step down in cases where the appointment was temporary. For the other 14 states, however, a special election has to be called. Notably, 4 states forbid the governor from making an appointment until the next general election is done.

Sujit Choudhry is an internationally recognized law guru who has been involved in the constitutional development of several countries. He holds a law degree from Toronto, Oxford and Havard. He has previously served as a law clerk for the supreme court of Canada’s Chief Justice, Antonio Lamer.

Professor Choudhry’s research focuses on a variety of issues especially in the field of comparative constitutional law and politics. He has mastered constitutional design as a tool that can help manage the transition from the state of violent conflict to a peaceful democratic process.

In the course of his research, Sujit Choudhry has managed to publish well over ninety articles, working papers, book chapters and reports. He currently serves as the director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions that offers evidence-based policy options.

Read more about Choudhry here

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Sujit Choudhry’s take on Today’s Political Climate and Democracy

Sujit Choudhry is a widely known and respected lawyer in the field of comparative law and global politics. He has spearheaded very many talks and constitutional redesigns which have helped countries move from violent war to peaceful and democratic governments. He is also an expert when it comes to creating constitutional designs which work well for places that are divided along ethnic lines ( He is the go-to expert when countries are handling contentious issues such as federalism, decentralisation, secession, group rights and other issues that come up when countries are trying to transition from authoritarianism to democratic rule (

Choudhry’s latest publication was focusing on a tweet that was made by an attorney general who served in Obama’s government, about the removal of Bob Mueller from the White House Counsel. In the tweet, Eric Holder stated that the removal of Bob was symbolic to the crossing of a red line. He added that the American people had the power to decide whether the move by the president was crossing the boundary and if they did, peaceful demonstrations would be the best way to show it.

Choudhry dissected this statement and stated that American Democracy has come of age. He adds that this is the perfect example of what is called self-enforcement but within the boundaries of what is constitutional. He adds that it is a great example that the most powerful democracy on the planet is setting to the rest of the world by showing that regardless of who is the president, the constitution will always be the supreme ruler.

Choudhry also touched on the presidential term limit made in the constitution. He gave the example of the US where a president cannot serve more than two four year terms according to the constitution. This is a constitutional trend that is getting picked up around the world and currently, very few countries are stuck in the president for life predicament that was commonplace a few years ago. While there are still places where presidential term limits are disregarded and coups staged, the constitution still has mitigation measures to be taken when this happens. Sujit is the author of more than ninety articles on constitution and governance and a foreign advisor in countries that are struggling to create law and order.

Keep up with Sujit’s latest tweet, follow him on Twitter.

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