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 https://ca.linkedin.com/in/sujit-choudhry