Federal Court Questions Request For Early Special Election To Replace McSally

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 8:40am
Updated: Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 8:46am

Sen. Martha McSally
Sen. Martha McSally
Sen. Martha McSally

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has questioned a request for a special election, ahead of the scheduled November 2020 date, to allow voters to fill the late John McCain's Senate seat.

On Wednesday, the court told attorney Michael Persoon it cannot ignore a precedent upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969, after New York's governor named a replacement for the slain Senator Robert Kennedy.

Persoon has argued Gov. Doug Ducey's decision to appoint Martha McSally in the Senate seat until the 2020 election violates the U.S. Constitution.

"Under Arizona law," he said, "Arizona's legitimate regulatory interests can be met in a period of 190 days in order to have an orderly election. What justifies a delay beyond that?"

Dominic Draye, the governor's attorney, said Ducey acted legally and as quickly as he could.

He said Arizona law states that if the vacancy occurs within 150 days of the next scheduled election, as happened in this case, the governor can appoint a replacement to serve until the following general election.

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