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US Senate candidate Mark Meuser. (Photo: Mark Meuser)

Why is U.S. Senate Candidate Mark Meuser On the Ballot Twice?

The Globe talked with Mark Meuser Monday and got a little history lesson

By Katy Grimes, April 25, 2022 10:13 am

Why is U.S. Senate Candidate Mark Meuser on the 2022 ballot twice?

Meuser, who is an elections attorney and is running for U.S. Senate, said his campaign is getting a lot of calls about his name being on the ballot twice. Many Californians recognize Meuser for his work with attorney Harmeet Dhillon and the Center for American Liberty, and the civil rights representation they have provided.

The Globe talked with Mark Meuser Monday and got a little history lesson.

The quick answer is that Meuser’s name is on the ballot twice, once for the partial term remaining with the appointment of former California Secretary of State Alex Padilla by Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill the U.S. Senate vacancy left by the election of Kamala Harris to Vice President, and then once for the upcoming full term.

Meuser explained that this procedure goes all the way back to the writing of the United States Constitution by the country’s founders. Americans did not directly vote for senators for the first 125 years of the Federal Government. The Constitution, as it was adopted in 1788, stated that senators would be elected by state legislatures. If there was a vacancy, the Governor of the State was responsible for making an appointment to fill the seat, largely because State Legislatures were not full time, and sometimes would not meet for many months.

Eventually, the 17th Amendment was ratified April 8, 1913, to declare that the voters of a state will elect the two U.S. Senators from each state:

Seventeenth Amendment

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Meuser said the 17th Amendment still authorizes a Governor to appoint a Senator to fill a vacancy.

Fast forward to the Obama administration, when a lawsuit was brought agreeing that Governors get to make these appointments, but the lawsuit charged that governors should also be required to call for an immediate Special Election to fill the vacancy.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that governors are not required to immediately call for a Special Election, but at the next Election must put the remainder of the U.S. Senate term on the ballot.

“Even thought this is only a two-month session, the people have their selection and it goes into effect immediately,” Meuser said.

Because of the 7th Circuit ruling, California changed its law to conform with the decision.

So, there will be a special election on the 2022 ballot fulfilling the final two months of the term, as well as the full U.S. Senate term on the ballot, for 2023.

Meuser was also just formally endorsed by the California GOP at the weekend convention.

And because we love interesting political ads, this one from Mark is good. Meuser is also a triathlete – running in street shoes for this ad must have hurt.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Why is U.S. Senate Candidate Mark Meuser On the Ballot Twice?

  1. So California could flip the Senate in July? We could put an end to all the insanity the democrats are going to try to push through before they lose power. Gives us some strong motivation to vote in the primary. If nothing else, make the democrats spend a ton of money for a primary in California.

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