Gabrielle Giffords’ Congressional Seat: Should It Be Taken Away After Three Months? NO! :(

A controversy has developed about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ Congressional seat, as there is an Arizona law that states that if a member of the legislature cannot serve for three calendar months, then the seat should be declared vacant, and an election held to replace that member.

It is only felt to affect state legislative seats, and not the US Congress, which has always been the judge of its own membership.

Even the suggestion that her seat be taken away from her after three months due to the long period of recovery from being shot in the head in Tucson is an outrage!

There have been many examples of members of Congress who had long recuperations from injuries or health crises and did not see their seat taken away.

A few examples are as follows:

Senator Lyndon B. Johnson took six months off after a severe heart attack in 1955.

Senator Ted Kennedy was in the hospital for months after a small plane accident in 1964.

Senator Joe Biden was out of commission for months while recuperating from brain surgery in 1987.

Senator Tim Johnson had a long recovery after suffering a massive stroke which paralyzed him for a period of time in the early part of the past decade.

Of course, Congresswoman Giffords would have to decide whether she could seek reelection in 2012, but in the meantime, the only thing that is lost is her vote, as her staff is well equipped to handle all constituent needs without her presence.

It would be unjust to strip her of her position in the present Congress after such a horrific attack.

If she chooses to leave, that is her own choice, and if she chooses not to run for reelection, that is also her choice, but she should not be pushed out.

And certainly outrageous would be to hold an election, which would likely lead to a Republican replacing her. If anything, a Democrat could be appointed to replace her without an election, so that the party victory is upheld.

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