Points By Drew Pritt

A Post About Senate Vacancy Appointments.
June 13, 2008, 9:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Two of my readers have posted responses that say that the Governor is required by state law to appoint someone of the same party. I would like to address this issue. This is a similar situation to term limits on Federal Offices.

In May 1995, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995) that states cannot impose term limits upon their Federal Representatives or Senators. Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, paragraph 2 of the 17th Amendment both address the filling of Senate vacancies. The decision of whom is appointed is entrusted to the Governor unless the State Legislature removes that authority.

Should it be challenged and I believe it would be, these hinderances on appointments, could successfully be challenged. There is precedence in the Court by the decision in the Term Limits that these restrictions can be successfully struck down.

NOW…..with that said, I do wish to present possible Republican appointees to the seat.

  JANE DEE HULL – former Governor

Should Napolitano wish to capitalize on an intraparty feud and also at the same time cause fractionalism, she could choose her predecessor as Governor. Hull famously in 2000 endorsed George W. Bush over homestate candidate, John McCain. She entered politics in 1978 by being elected to the Arizona House of Representatives as a Republican. She served for seven terms, including two as Speaker, the first female Speaker in Arizona history. In 1991, while she was Speaker, the Arizona legislature experienced a major political scandal called AZSCAM, which resulted in the resignation or removal of ten members of the House and Senate. As a result, Speaker Hull instituted a number of ethics reforms to reestablish public confidence in the legislature. Hull was elected Arizona Secretary of State in 1994. After Governor Fife Symington was forced to resign due to a conviction, Hull became governor on September 8, 1997. She is perhaps best known in her role as governor for signing the death warrants of two foreign nationals, despite international pressure from Germany for a retrial.

Sandra Day O'Connor  SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR – Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Napolitano could go for a symbolic act and nominate O’Connor. She served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1981 until her retirement from the bench in 2005. The first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, she was a crucial swing vote on the Court for many years because of her case-by-case approach to jurisprudence and her relatively moderate political views. O’Connor served as Assistant Attorney General of Arizona from 1965–1969. In 1969 she was appointed to the Arizona State Senate and was subsequently re-elected as a Republican to two two-year terms. In 1973, she was elected majority leader. In 1975, she was elected judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court and served until 1979, when she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals by Democratic Governor Bruce Babbitt. On October 4, 2005, President Gene Nichol of the College of William and Mary announced that O’Connor had accepted the largely ceremonial role of becoming the 23rd Chancellor of the College, replacing Henry Kissinger, and following in the position held by Chief Justice Warren Burger, and initially President George Washington. O’Connor continues to make semi-regular visits to the College, and has played a notably more active role than her predecessors. In 2005, she wrote a children’s book titled Chico.

  JIM KOLBE – Former U.S. Congressman

Napolitano could make history and mollify a political base by appointing Jim Kolbe, a former U.S. Congressman, who would become the Senate’s first openly gay member. Kolbe served as a Republican member of Congress from Arizona, from 1985 to 2007. Prior to serving in Congress, in 1976, Kolbe ran for the Arizona Senate in a Tucson-area district and defeated a one-term Democrat who had been elected in the national Democratic wave of 1974. He served three terms in that body, and was Majority Whip from 1979 to 1982. Kolbe came out as gay in August 1996 after his vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act spurred efforts by some gay rights activists to out him. He won re-election that year. In 2000, he became the first openly gay person to address the Republican National Convention, although his speech did not address gay rights.

Even after coming out, Kolbe’s record on gay rights was somewhat mixed. He was lukewarm in his support of same-sex marriage and voted in support of the Defense of Marriage Act. However, he strongly supported the availability of universal civil unions.

  J.D. HAYWORTH, former U.S. Congressman

This Rush Limbaugh clone is as bombastic as it gets in Arizona. Known for his outspoken nature — he called President Clinton an “unprincipled philandering President” who had “the most corrupt administration in U.S. history” — Hayworth is a frequent guest on conservative TV and talk radio. Initially elected in 1994, narrowly defeating incumbent Congresswoman Karan English, Hayworth’s bombast grated on Arizona voters till they ousted him unexpectedly on November 14, 2006  to elect Democrat, Harry Mitchell. Between 2001 and 2005 inclusive, Hayworth’s wife Mary was paid $20,400 per year by TEAM PAC, Hayworth’s leadership political action committee. In 2002, a spokesman for Hayworth said that his wife handled bookkeeping and many administrative details for the PAC. Between 1999 and 2005, Hayworth received $69,000 from lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his clients, primarily from Indian tribes. $62,000 of the money went to TEAM PAC. After Abramoff was convicted of defrauding the tribes, Hayworth decided to keep the donations.

 Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods.   

Former Attorney General GRANT WOODS, U.S. Congressman JOHN SHADEGG III, former U.S. Congressman MATT SALMON, and State Superintendent of Education LISA GRAHAM KEEGAN are sure to be top tier candidates for this race. Yet each would pose a significant threat to Napolitano or any competitive Democrat so in the short term they would not receive an appointment to the Senate.



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