Republicans aren't giving up yet on forcing a special election in West Virginia this year for the Senate seat of the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, the Hotline reports, with RNC and West Virginia GOP lawyers exploring a possible lawsuit.
"It's an open question," a Republican source in West Virginia told TPMDC, who confirmed that the conversations are happening. "There's probably something there. If not, the Attorney General, who is a Democrat, wouldn't be looking into the ruling that the Secretary of State made. How much is there, and whether it's substantial enough to overturn the Secretary of State's interpretation of the law, I don't know. That's why we're looking at it closely, and haven't made a decision yet."
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) announced last week that there would not be an election, but instead a gubernatorial appointment to last through November 2012, when the term would have been up anyway. This result, which struck many people as odd, was actually the product of the state's very confusing statute on the subject, and in fact had a binding precedent from the 1990s. Tennant herself has called for the law to be changed, though it remains unclear whether any change will be made at all, either in the legislature or in the court.