‘Audemus jura nostra defendere: Latin for “we dare defend our rights” or “we dare maintain our rights,” is the Alabama State Motto.’
Of course they do. Which leads us to this little gem of a news story form CNN—
‘(CNN)—Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has managed to sideline a key player in the ongoing effort to investigate — and potentially impeach or prosecute — him by appointing the state’s attorney general to succeed Sen. Jeff Sessions in the US Senate.’
What else would you expect from the state that was home to Foster’s Drug & Gun? Well, there’s this—
‘Strange, who has served as attorney general since 2011, had already been eying the Senate seat. In December, he launched a campaign for the post, and his campaign manager, Michael Joffrion, said Strange will run in 2018 to keep the seat through 2020, when Sessions’ term expires.’
Yep, that’s right, his name is Strange. Now, he is Senator Strange from Alabama. How, do you ask? Well maybe it was because of this—
‘The impeachment probe by the Alabama House Judiciary Committee came to a halt in November, after Strange asked that his office be able to take over “related work.” State Auditor Jim Zeigler, a Republican, said Bentley’s appointment of Strange under these circumstances “stinks.”‘
So, what happened to the Seventeenth Amendment that established the election of Senators by popular vote? Well, besides the lack of successful opposition to gubernatorial appointments in setting a precedent, there is the Alabama version—
‘Alabama code states that in the event of a vacancy for a United States senator, the governor will “forthwith order an election to be held,” so the people of Alabama may choose their next senator.
Bentley has said he doesn’t want to call a special election because he’d like to save the $15 million that such an event is expected to cost. That means Strange will hold the position until the next scheduled election, in 2018.
“Instead of setting up a special election that would be held sometime this year, he wants to wait until 2018 and let that temporary appointee run in the regular-term election that is already set to be in November 2018,” said Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, also a Republican.
The winner of that race would serve out the remaining two years of Sessions’ term. The next election would be held in 2020.’
“Sweet home Alabama, oh sweet home
Where the skies are so blue and the governor’s true”—Edward C. King, Gary Robert Rossington, Ronnie Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd), 1973
I think that pretty much says it all.
Senate seats on hold. Supreme Court seats held hostage. It’s the way they roll.
I wonder who would have standing to challenge this in court.
It would be a huge State’s rights vs. federal jurisdiction fight. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventeenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Interpretation_and_advocacy_for_reform)
Not sure if now is the time to take this up. The last thing we want is to go back to the State Legislatures picking the Senate with so many States in GOP hands.
No, the Alabama code calls for a special election. Alabama is essentially claiming that they will not follow their own law in order to save some money. There isn’t anything in here that indicates that the legislature would select someone.