“West Virginia law fails, however, to state exactly when a vacancy occurs. Whether the vacancy is considered to have been created at the moment of Byrds death, when the Senate informs state officials of the vacancy, or when Manchin declares the seat vacant will be crucial.”
They can say what they want; when the man is dead, his seat is vacant. There can be no denying that, there can be no legal contortion that can change that.
(Sorry for the link)
I just got off the phone with Jake Glance, the Public Affairs and Communications officer for West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant.
Glance told me that no decision has been made yet on when a special election would be held to replace Robert Byrd, who passed away early this morning. Various interpretations of the law might require the special election to be held this November — or not until November, 2012, when Byrd’s term was set to expire anyway.
“There are a lot of sections on state code that apply to this kind of thing and we’re examining each one of them and we’ll be making an announcement soon,” Glance told me. “We just need to make sure that what we say fits this specific situation.”
You are confusing death with vacancy. Dead is dead, but vacancy is another matter. It may turn out to be the same as death, but could also be something else depending upon statute and case law. Reality and the law are not always congruent.