He can appoint a successor until an election is held. The question is will he have to call a special election, or can he wait until 2012 when Byrd’s term is up. The law requires a special election when a vacancy occurs with more than two and one half years before expiration of the term. Since Byrd’s term expires January 3, 2013, a special election seems in order. However, that all depends on the meaning of the word “vacancy”.
Thanks for the info and insight.
Sounds like the folks in WV should have a special election, and not accept any weasel words from the Gov’s office.
Byrd is dead, and no one living now inhabits that Senate seat.
It is vacant.