|Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana)|
Into the chamber walks newly re-elected Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana who that fall was re-elected in a hard-fought contest against former Representative Joe Donnelly. But Donnelly is already there and he is asking the Democratically-controlled Senate seat him instead of Lugar because the Senator failed to meet the Qualifications Clause in Article I, Section 3:
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.The Senate Democrats introduce a resolution to seat Rep. Donnelly instead of Lugar based on Section 5 of Article 1 of the Constitution.:
Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.The Democrats' resolution discusses how Lugar has lived in Virginia since 1977. More importantly it focuses on the fact that Lugar's only claim that he has a "home" in Indiana is a house at 3200 Highwoods Court in Indianapolis that he sold over 35 years earlier and where he admits he does not live. The resolution discusses Lugar signing documents under oath that the 3200 Highwoods Court home is his "residence" when he votes and gets a driver's license. The Senate resolution finishes with the conclusion that Lugar was not an "inhabitant" of Indiana on Election Day, November 6, 2012, and that Donnelly is the rightful winner of the election. The resolution passes on a party line vote.
What is Lugar and the Republican's recourse if this happens? Absolutely none. There is no appeal from the Senate choosing to seat Donnelly instead of Lugar. You can't take the issue to the courts. If Lugar stubbornly continues to claim 3200 Highwoods Court as his Indiana home up until the day of the general election, he puts the Republicans at risk of losing the Senate seat, even if he win the election.