Blagojevich scandal prompts possible Constitution change


Sen. Russ Feingold has had it with controversies over the Senate appointments to replace Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama: he plans to introduce a Constitutional amendment this week requiring Senate vacancies to be filled by special elections instead of gubernatorial appointments.

In a statement released Sunday, Feingold said,

In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution gave the citizens of this country the power to finally elect their senators. They should have the same power in the case of unexpected mid-term vacancies, so that the Senate is as responsive as possible to the will of the people.”

Feingold, D-Wis., is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and plans to hold a hearing soon on his proposed amendment.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich gained international notoriety after federal prosecutors charged him in December in connection to a “pay for play” scheme to award Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. And on Friday, New York Gov. David Paterson announced Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand as Clinton’s replacement, ending months of speculation that the seat could go to Caroline Kennedy.


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