There is no specific protocol, procedure, or authority set out in the United States Constitution, federal law, or congressional rule for the Senate (or the House) to recognize "incapacity" of a sitting Member and thereby declare a "vacancy" in such office.
Under the general practice and operations in the Senate (as well as in the House), personal "incapacity" of a sitting Member has not generated proceedings to declare the seat vacant.
. . . it would be the particular House of Congress that would have to either declare or, at the least, recognize any such "vacancy" because of any "incapacity" before giving the oath of office and seating anyone presenting himself or herself as having been chosen to fill that seat.
In 1981, Rep. Gladys Noon Spellman of Maryland was re-elected but had a heart attack and fell into a coma before she could take the oath of office. The attending physician of Congress declared "there is no likelihood that she will be able to serve out her term of office." The House adopted a resolution declaring her seat vacant, which triggered the Maryland vacancy provision.
Arizona rules require that a special election must be called within 72 hours of the seat being declared vacant. The winner would fill the seat until 2012, when Giffords' term ends.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:08 AM EDT2013-05-21 04:08:51 GMT
Daryl Raetz, 29, was a six-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department. (Source:Facebook)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials say the man who owns the SUV that killed a Phoenix Police officer is not in the country legally.Phoenix Police arrested 24-year-old Jesus Cabrera Molina. HeMore >
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials say the man who owns the SUV that struck and killed a Phoenix police officer is not in the country legally.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 8:17 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:17:12 GMT
Amy's Baking Company
Amy's Baking Company said legal and online threats have forced it to cancel a press conference Tuesday, but that it's grand reopening will take place as planned. Owners of the Scottsdale bakery, Amy andMore >
Owners of the Scottsdale bakery decided to pull the plug on a 1 p.m. news briefing Tuesday after getting a letter from a litigation law firm representing a company that produces the TV show Kitchen Nightmares. More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 9:04 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:04:13 GMT
(Source: Fox 29/myfoxphilly.com)
A Utah mom found a unique punishment for her daughter after finding out she was bullying a classmate. Myfoxphilly.com reports that Kaylee, 10, was teasing another student about her clothes so much thatMore >
A Utah mom found a unique punishment for her daughter after finding out she was bullying a classmate.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:12 AM EDT2013-05-21 04:12:08 GMT
Detective Jeff Clement bravely took a seat in front of a row of cameras Monday afternoon to talk about losing his best friend, Officer Daryl Raetz. "We thought he was Teflon," said Clement. "We thoughtMore >
Detective Jeff Clement bravely took a seat in front of a row of cameras Monday afternoon to talk about losing his best friend, Officer Daryl Raetz.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 11:10 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:10:42 GMT
Authorities have released the identity of a man who was fatally struck by a train in Tempe. Tempe police say 27-year-old Shane Tsosie was the man killed when he was struck by a southbound Union PacificMore >
Authorities have released the identity of a man who was fatally struck by a train in Tempe.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 11:17 AM EDT2013-05-20 15:17:42 GMT
Fallen first responders
A 23-year-old firefighter is in surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. Officials told CBS 5 he is in extremely critical condition after being crushed between two fire vehicles. The firefighter wasMore >
Phoenix police officer Daryl Raetz, 29, and Phoenix firefighter Bradley Harper, 23, died within six hours of each other from injuries suffered in two separate incidents.More >