Legislators – the few, the elite, and apparently, the only ones qualified.

From the legislature comes twin measures in both the House (Sponsored by Latterell) and the Senate (Sponsored by Greenfield) to amend the state constitution to strip the Governor of the ability to choose a temporary replacement for an open US Senate Seat, and hand it off to the legislature, to be picked from their own:

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION   NO.  1001  

Introduced by:    Representatives Latterell, Bolin, Campbell, Craig, DiSanto, Greenfield (Lana), Marty, May, McCleerey, Qualm, Schoenbeck, Stalzer, Verchio, Wiik, and Zikmund and Senators Jensen (Phil) and Olson

A JOINT RESOLUTION, Proposing and submitting to the electors at the next general election an amendment to Article IV, section 3 of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, relating to the powers and duties of the Governor.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN:
Section 1. That at the next general election held in the state, the following amendment to Article IV, section 3 of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, as set forth in section 2 of this Joint Resolution, which is hereby agreed to, shall be submitted to the electors of the state for approval.
Section 2. That Article IV, section 3 of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, be amended to read as follows:
§ 3. The Governor shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the law. He may, by appropriate action or proceeding brought in the name of the state, enforce compliance with any constitutional or legislative mandate, or restrain violation of any constitutional or legislative power, duty or right by any officer, department or agency of the state or any of its civil divisions. This authority shall not authorize any action or proceedings against the Legislature.

and…

The Governor may convene the Legislature or either house thereof alone in special session by a proclamation stating the purposes of the session, and only business encompassed by such purposes shall be transacted. Whenever a vacancy occurs in the representation of South Dakota in the United States Senate, the Governor shall convene a special session of the entire Legislature. The Legislature shall, by process of voting, fill the vacancy from among the duly elected Legislators.

The Senate version uses the following language, which basically says the same thing:

    If a vacancy occurs in an office of United States senator for the state, the Governor shall convene a special session of the Legislature. The Legislature shall vote to fill the vacancy from among the current members of the Legislature, to hold office until the next election.

Are they kidding?

So, not only do they want to change the existing process that has been in place for quite a few years, they want it to be a legislative popularity contest?  What if there’s nobody good to pick from?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but this comes of as legislative elitism, and limits the universe of possible appointees. No one has been asking for a change, so why would we even consider it?

10 thoughts on “Legislators – the few, the elite, and apparently, the only ones qualified.

  1. Anonymous

    This is actually a great idea, the legislators are much closer to the people than the Governor. Thank you Rep. Latterell for bringing this much needed legislation!

    1. Anonymous

      “This is actually a great idea, the legislators are much closer to the people than the Governor.”

      Said no one ever.

  2. duggersd

    I tend to like the idea of the governor being able to choose from anyone in the state he believes to be qualified. That person then has to run in the next election to complete the term, right? So at the very worst, we have a Senator for less than two years before the people are able to choose.

  3. Anonymous

    My first reaction was that this was to prevent the Governor from appointing his son in law. Could that be it?

  4. SDGOPer

    Is there a particular motive here? Is someone expecting a vacancy in one of our Senate seats? Thune joining the next GOP Administration? Rounds running for Governor again and picking his own replacement?

  5. Snarkypuss

    Soooo….how many of the governor’s legislature replacements actually succeeded in keeping those seats when they ran for election?

  6. anon1

    The only positive I can find with this idea is having it in place when a Democrat becomes Governor. That may happen sooner rather than later if a few of the republican legislators continue to make us look like fools.