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9th Circuit judges hear arguments for calling earlier election to fill McCain seat

Posted by   /  November 14, 2019  /  No Comments

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Sen. Martha McSally assumed office in January after Gov. Doug Ducey picked her to replace Jon Kyl, who had filled the John McCain vacancy./Capitol Media Services / 2018.

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Star

An attorney for several Arizonans asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to order a special election to replace Sen. John McCain — and sooner than the November 2020 vote set by Gov. Doug Ducey.

Michael Persoon told a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the U.S. Constitution does allow Ducey to “temporarily” fill a vacancy created by the death or resignation of a senator. That is how Jon Kyl got appointed following McCain’s August 2018 death, and how Martha McSally was tapped after Kyl quit in January.

But Persoon said there also is a legal requirement to call a special election to fill out the balance of the senator’s term.

Ducey did that — but set the date for that special election to coincide with the regular 2020 election, 27 months after McCain’s death. And Persoon said that is illegal, effectively denying Arizona voters a chance to select someone they want to represent them.


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