Senator Palin? No, Not Her. The Dude!

There's lots of smart and fun speculation on the law blogs about Sarah Palin's future.

We all know that Alaska's Sen. Ted Stevens, now convicted of political corruption charges, has been urged to step down by many, including John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. That is the root of the speculation that Gov. Palin might want to appoint herself as Sen. Palin, should Sen. Stevens step down -- although there is no sign that the Senate's senior Republican senator is inclined to do so.

But anyway, Sarah Palin's future is a hot topic -- notwithstanding that event on Nov. 4.

Here's how Rick Hasen's Election Law blog has pondered the prospects for a self promotion (headline included):

The Alaska Senate Vacancy Issue is Even More Interesting Than I Thought


In this post from yesterday (which contains a correction about the earlier New Jersey case), I wrote about the rules which would apply if Senator Stevens decided to resign before his current term ends. I cited to provisions of the Alaska Elections Code that I took from the Alaska legislature's website.
It turns out, however, that voters passed an initiative in 2004 (in response to the then-governor appointing his daughter to a vacancy) which changed the method of filling vacancies. (The full text of the current Alaska statute is after the jump.)
But it gets better. Because this statute was passed by initiative, there's a question whether it violates the 17th Amendment, which provides in Clause 2: "When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each 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." The people, through the initiative process, get no role.
Here's the rest of Rick's blog entry. Now, this is interesting enough, but Edward Still's blog on law and politics has another take. He says that the telegenic vice presidential candidate would be barred by Alaska law from accepting a lucrative television deal while still in office, but not a big book deal.

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