Thursday, November 29, 2018

COMMENTARY: Arizona Republicans "Monkeyed" With Law To Replace Senator McCain, Made It Unconstitutional

The following is a commentary by Chandler election law attorney Tom Ryan, in response to the lawsuit filed Wednesday challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's law to replace the late Senator John McCain, and calling for a special election within six months:

I think it is overdue! Look, the AZGOP in the Legislature monkeyed with the statute re: replacing a U.S. Senator to give Ducey this kind of power to make serial appointments. The purpose of the 17th Amendment was to give the power of direct election to the citizens of each state. There is a power of temporary appointment but that is intended to be just a stop gap measure until the special election can be held.  Here we hear rumors of Kyl resigning and Ducey getting a 2nd appointment!!  All the while critical issues are popping up in the Senate that the citizens of Arizona are being deprived of the opportunity to elect their own voice, not the voice of just one individual.  Think about that for a moment! We passed the 17th Amendment to remove the appointment of U.S. Senators from the state senates, and gave that power to the citizens. If it was bad to let the state senators wield such power, how much worse is it to give that same power to just one person – the governor?!

So the Gov has set the replacement election for McCain’s seat for the 2020 election cycle. That is more than 2 years from the date McCain passed away. Why do we need to wait 2 years?!  Trent Franks resigned on December 8, 2017 because of his sex scandal. The Gov set the dates for the special election to replace Franks so quickly that Debbie Lesko was put into office just five months later on May 5, 2018. If you go back and look at the newspaper accounts of when the AZ GOP was monkeying with Title 16 you will see they were doing so in anticipation of McCain’s passing and giving Ducey this power of serial appointments.  That’s just wrong.

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