Following controversy over the appointments of three of the four Senate seats vacated after the 2008 presidential election, Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., plans to introduce a constitutional amendment that would leave it up to voters -- and not the state governors -- to fill the empty seats.How can a Senator talk about "one person, one vote"? The Senate is a monument to the opposite of "one person, one vote"!
"When you don't use the idea of 'one person, one vote' it's an invitation to corruption, embarrassment or abuse," Feingold, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, told ABCNews.com. "It's unattractive and undemocratic."
In Feingold's home state of Wisconsin, special elections are mandated under state law when U.S. Senate seats are vacated, and gubernatorial appointments are not an option. Only one other state, Oregon, uses a similar system.Well, that's because the people of Wisconsin set things up that way. And if the people of New York or the people of Illinois would like to adopt the same system, they are free to do it, so what is the point of a constitutional amendment forcing them to do it?
"I've always believed in and been proud of the fact that Wisconsin has never used the system" of having the governor appoint a senator, said Feingold.
Considering the difficulty of amending the Constitution, if it's such a bad idea to have gubernatorial appointments, wouldn't it be easier for the states individually to change their own process? You have to think the appointment process is so bad that we shouldn't tolerate those states where people happen to prefer it. These states must be dragged up to the level that the rest of us have decided is right. But is this that sort of thing? Is there something that pernicious about appointments? You can point to Blagojevich, but he was caught. (Yes, he still got to make the appointment.) Are you going to throw Paterson in with Blagojevich? That's hardly fair to Governor Paterson! He did nothing wrong... other than pick someone who is perhaps more conservative than you'd like.