South Carolina Governor Appoints New U.S. Senator, Creating a Vacancy in U.S. House that will be Filled by a Special Election

On December 17, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley appointed Congressman Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate, to fill the vacancy created when Senator Jim DeMint said he will resign very soon.

As a result of Scott’s appointment, he will resign from the House. He has been a member of the House starting in 2010, representing the First District, which is centered on Charleston. There will thus soon be a special election to fill that House seat.


South Carolina Governor Appoints New U.S. Senator, Creating a Vacancy in U.S. House that will be Filled by a Special Election — 14 Comments

  1. Typical major party bs. Why wasn’t there a special election for DeMint’s Senate seat, but there is for the House seat?

  2. Candidate/incumbent rank order replacement lists for legislators.

    Too many killer regimes and individuals out there – 7 Dec 1941, CT school reptile brain, etc.

  3. I believe there are different rules for the House and the Senate stemming from the days when US Senators were not directly elected.

  4. #3 When senators were elected by the legislatures, governors were permitted (by the Constitution) to make a temporary appointment when a vacancy occurred while the legislature was not in session. At that time, legislatures typically were in annual session for only a few weeks, and so it would have been a hardship to call the legislature into session solely to elect a senator. The temporary appointment lasted only until the legislature was next in session. If a vacancy occurred while the legislature was in session, the governor could not make an appointment, even if he became aware of the vacancy afterwards.

    If the 17th Amendment were not in effect, the South Carolina legislature would elect a new senator when it came into session on January 8, 2013.

    On the other hand it was relatively easy to hold a popular election for US representative. You only needed a box to deposit ballots in (these were prepared by the voter), a stump to set it on, and a jug of hard cider to pass around among the voters.

    The 17th Amendment carried forward the tradition of temporary appointments until a special election could be held. But most States have delayed the special election by up to two years, or sometimes trying to avoid having a special election at all.

  5. The Constitution Party should run someone for this seat. This a socially conservative area. The Green Party, Working Family Party and Libs should run too. Not just D’s and R’s.

  6. 36 states still allow gubernatorial appointment of a US Senator until the next general election at which time an election is held to fill the remainder of the term.

  7. #6 36 States don’t require a special election to be held until the date of the next election.

    Congress has the authority to set the time for senatorial elections. They did so for special elections when the legislatures still elected senators. There is no reason for them not to do so for popular elections.

    Congress should require the special election to be held within 90 days, unless there is a general election within 180 days, or it is less than 180 days until the end of the term of the vacating senator. The governor could still make a temporary appointment.

  8. Cost per vote in those LOW turnout special elections — with or without any hard cider (aka moonshine) for the boondock voters ???

    # 2 repeat — get OUT of the DARK AGE.

  9. Stephen Colbert could run on the American version of “Raving Monster Looney Party”. He would be perfect for South Carolina as a non-serious candidate. Jesse Ventura won in Minnesota. One never knows when voters are finally fed up with D’s and R’s.

  10. Richard –

    What a lost opportunity. Gov. Haley could have appointed South Carolina-based corporate person” Semprae Laboratories.

    Accoring to their website, “Semprae Laboratories, Inc. is a unique company focused on improving women’s sex lives in meaningful ways. An integral part of this mission is opening up the conversation on women’s sexuality from the woman’s perspective, and providing a comfortable space for women to ask questions, get information, and express themselves. Semprae’s products are based on real science and demonstrated efficacy in clinical settings. Our flagship product, Zestra┬«, is the only topically applied OTC product with published clinical results in medical journals proving that it boosts sexual arousal, sensation and satisfaction in women – offering a solution unlike anything else on the market.”

    So, not only would this have been a major blow for the rights of corporate “persons” across this great land of ours, but it would have also been a major victory for American women’s pursuit of happiness. A win win win, in my book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *