previous
next

§ 93. “The Next Election of Senators.”

These words refer to the next choice of senators, by the suffrages of the people of the State, on the occasion of a triennial election to fill places about to become vacant by effluxion of time. It is to be noted that there is no special section in the Constitution enacting, in so many words, that there shall be an election of senators, by popular vote, every three years; that follows as the necessary result of a combination of sections. Thus section 7 provides that senators shall be chosen for a term of six years. This is qualified by section 13, which provides for the classification of the senators for each State after every general election of senators, according to which half of them will retire every three years. By section 9 the Parliament of each State has exclusive power to make laws determining the times of elections of senators for the State, subject to the condition that elections to fill vacant places must be made in the year at the end of which the places are to become vacant. The expressions “choosing of senators,” “choosing the senators,” “election of senators,” “next election of senators,” which occur in Part II. of the Constitution, allude to the triennial elections to fill places about to become vacant, as well as to general elections consequent on a dissolution.

At “the next general election of members of the House of Representatives,” or at “the next election of senators for the State,” whichever first happens, if the senatorial term has not then expired, the provisional appointment of “a person to hold the place” is superseded by “the election of a successor” to hold the place from the date of his election until the expiration of the term. The election of a successor to a deceased or resigned senator, for the balance of the term, may thus possibly take place at a triennial election, at the same time when three senators of the class in which the vacancy has occurred are elected for the ensuing term which begins on 1st January of the following year. In such a case, it will of course be competent for the temporary holder of the place to be a candidate for the balance of the term and also a candidate for the new term which begins on the expiration of the current term.

previous
next