As has been going around all day, it has been reported that Sen. Robert Byrd has been hospitalized and is reported to be “seriously ill”.
If the vacancy occurs less than two years and six months before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to fill the unexpired term and there is no election. If the vacancy occurs two years and six months or more before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to serve until the unexpired term is filled at the conclusion of the next candidate filing period, Primary Election, General Election and certification. The winner of that General Election fills the balance of the unexpired term. The election for the full term will be held as scheduled regardless of the date of the vacancy.
Over at Salon.com, Steve Kornacki explains these the dates:
As others have noted, the key date here is July 3 — next Saturday. Under West Virginia law, were a vacancy to be declared before then, an appointee would hold the seat through this November, when a special election would be held to fill the final two years on the term Byrd was elected to in 2006. The winner of that special election would presumably seek a full term in 2012. Were a vacancy to be declared after July 3, an appointee would hold the seat through the 2012 election, when the full six-year term would be up.
Also, as Powers mentions, the Saturday date seems like a non-starter:
A glance at Byrd’s laundry list of missed votes since late March is evidence that his Senate seat has in fact been mostly vacant for some time, so the odds that the seat would be declared “vacant” by next Saturday no matter what happens are very slim indeed.
This also brings up something that Mark Levin has mentioned several times over the last several months. That of how the Democrat’s majority in the Senate is very tainted. As it stands, out of the 59 current Democrat senators (including Byrd), five of them were appointed by their state’s governors, one is completely illegitimate due to naked vote fraud (Franken) and now we face the prospect of a sixth one being appointed. In reality, the Dems would then have only 52 sitting senators who were duly elected. (again I am not counting Franken as duly elected)
This type of gerrymandering has made it a LOT easier both for Obama and Reid to get their leftist agenda passed and made it much, much harder for the GOP to mount filibusters. Especially when there are turncoats like McCain, Snowes, Collins and Graham who have to be politically babysat whenever there is an important vote.
Granted, that will change in spades come November, but so much damage has already been done to this country at all levels with a tainted President and a tainted senate that it is enough to make a one a lifetime subscriber to Tums.com.
Byrd has passed.
From the New York Times:
Robert C. Byrd, who used his record tenure as a United States senator to fight for the primacy of the legislative branch of government and to build a modern West Virginia with vast amounts of federal money, died early Monday. He was 92.
His office said he died about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va. Senator Byrd, who lived in McLean, Va., had been admitted to the hospital late last week with symptoms of heat exhaustion and severe dehydration as temperatures in the Washington area approached 100 degrees. Though he was initially expected to be released after a few days, his condition deteriorated. He had been in failing health for several years.