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U.S. District Court Will Issue Decision in Next Three Weeks on Whether Illinois Must Hold Special Election for U.S. Senate

Published on June 30, 2010, by in General.

On June 30, a U.S. District Court held a hearing in Judge v Quinn, the case over whether Illinois must hold a special U.S. Senate election on November 2, 2010, to fill the last two months of the U.S. Senate seat that became vacant when President Obama resigned from the U.S. Senate.  The judge indicated he will issue an opinion in the next three weeks.  See this story.

3 Responses

  1. Jim Riley

    This case doesn’t make sense. Blagojevich’s appointment of Burris said it was temporary until there was an election. The State argued from the very first that Illinois law called for an election in November 2010 (and the AG issued an opinion that the legislature could set an earlier date, even after an appointment was made).

    The plaintiffs sued in early 2009 in an attempt to force a 2009 election, arguing that the 17th Amendment overrode State law. The district judge refused to do so, and rather proceeding with the case in district court, they appealed the decision not to issue a preliminary injunction.

    A year later, the Appeals Court says the district court was right not to issue a preliminary injunction, but suggests that an election needed to be called.

    The plaintiffs praise this as a great victory, claiming all they wanted was an election, even if it was January 2, 2013. And the State is apparently going, what election? Maybe the district court should dismiss the case, and suggest that the plaintiffs file in the Illinois courts to get an interpretation of the Illinois statute.

  2. Richard

    If Illinois wants to save money, it could provide for a special election for the two-month term on November 2, 2010. And it could print write-in space on the ballot (which it would be doing anyway), and just let candidates file as declared write-in candidates, and let the declared write-in candidate with the most write-ins be the winner.

    California did that in November 1946 for the two-month term.

  3. Jim Riley

    #2 Were there declared write-in candidates in 1946? I had the impression that since Hiram Johnson was the only popularly elected senator for that senate seat that maybe California had not got around to figuring out how to hold a special election. Johnson died in August 1945.

    If you look at the Illinois statutes, it is not clear why Illinois is not holding a concurrent special election for the final two months.

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