9th Circuit To Review Whether McSally Can Serve Through 2020

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 8:05am
Updated: Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 10:41am
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Martha McSally answers questions on Dec. 18, 2018, on the heels of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey appointing her to the U.S. Senate.

Judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to review and rule on whether Martha McSally can serve as Arizona’s U.S. senator through the 2020 election.

McSally occupies the senate seat once held by John McCain, who passed away a year ago.

Judges rejected McSally and Gov. Doug Ducey’s arguments that it should be left to Arizona voters in the next scheduled election in 2020.

Unmoved, the appellate judges agreed to hold a hearing in November, which could lead to a special election before next year’s primary.

The challengers’ attorney, Michael Kielsky, concedes it might be moot, since any ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"It may not be in time for to impact this election," he said. "But perhaps it will at least create case law on this issue, at least potentially an open question as to whether 'temporary' can mean more than two years."

Kielsky contends that under the constitution, any appointment to the position should be only temporary. Holding the position for 27 months without a public vote, he argues, violates that law.

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