SES
I don't think the Governor has the power to appoint...
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:56pm
198.101.7.201 (XFF: 172.30.52.58)

...a new Lieutenant Governor.

That's one thing I love about these Boards. They require that you do research and lean things you didn't know.

Virginia State Constitution, Article V, Sections 7 and 16, deal with appointments and succession.

They do not appear to give the Governor the authority to appoint a Lieutenant Governor.

Or at least that's the interpretation of the expert who helps write it:

Section 7 (in part): "The Governor shall have power to fill vacancies in all offices of the Commonwealth for the filling of which the Constitution and laws make no other provision. If such office be one filled by the election of the people, the appointee shall hold office until the next general election, and thereafter until his successor qualifies, according to law. The General Assembly shall, if it is in session, fill vacancies in all offices which are filled by election by that body."

Section 16 (in part): "In the case of the removal of the Governor from office or in the case of his disqualification, death, or resignation, the Lieutenant Governor shall become Governor.

If a vacancy exists in the office of Lieutenant Governor when the Lieutenant Governor is to succeed to the office of Governor or to serve as Acting Governor, the Attorney General, if he is eligible to serve as Governor, shall succeed to the office of Governor for the unexpired term or serve as Acting Governor. If the Attorney General is ineligible to serve as Governor, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, if he is eligible to serve as Governor, shall succeed to the office of Governor for the unexpired term or serve as Acting Governor. If a vacancy exists in the office of the Speaker of the House of Delegates or if the Speaker of the House of Delegates is ineligible to serve as Governor, the House of Delegates shall convene and fill the vacancy."

"One could make an argument that allowing [an appointed person] to become Governor would defeat the intention of Article V, Section 16. That section lays out in great detail succession to the office of Governor,” he wrote. “To allow the process of resignation and the filling of vacancies to result in the installation of a Governor who lacked any mandate of the people would be inconsistent with Section 7’s purpose and structure. I can imagine the argument, therefore, that the careful and specific process laid out in Section 16 would control over the general provision in Section 7.”

A.E. Dick Howard
Distinguished Professor of International Law at the University of Virginia
Executive Director of Virginia’s Commission on Constitutional Revision

Howard helped draft the current constitution

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    • I don't think the Governor has the power to appoint... — SES, Mon Feb 11 2:56pm
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