Giffords Could Lose Seat to Arizona Loophole

Statute declares office vacant after 90 days on inactivity
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2011 6:45 PM CST
In this March, 2010 file photo provided by the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., Giffords poses for a photo.   (AP Photo/Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, File)

(Newser) – Gabrielle Giffords may yet pull off a miraculous recovery, but a peculiarity of Arizona law might cost her the House seat she holds anyway, the Washington Post reports. An Arizona statute mandates that a public office be declared vacant if the officeholder ceases to "discharge the duties of office for the period of three consecutive months." Once vacant, a special election can be called to fill the seat.

But considering the outpouring of national sympathy for Giffords and the significant strides she's made so far, it seems likely that a loophole will be found to keep her in office. Jan Brewer won't even discuss the issue: "With Rep. Giffords' tremendous progress, an answer to many prayers, we've deemed it to be far too early and entirely inappropriate to speculate, analyze, consider," says a rep. (Click for an example of the unbelievable strides Giffords is making.)

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