Resignation from the United States Senate

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A member of the United States Senate can resign by writing a letter of resignation to the governor of the state that the senator represents.[citation needed] Under Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States, and under the Seventeenth Amendment, in case of a vacancy in the Senate resulting from resignation, the executive authority of the state (today known in every state as the governor) can fill the vacancy by appointment unless the state legislature has provided for a special election to fill the vacancy. Whenever a senator needs to be appointed or elected, the Secretary of the Senate mails one of three forms to the state's governor to inform them of the proper wording to certify the appointment of a new Senator.[1]

The first resignation from the Senate was that of William Paterson of New Jersey on November 13, 1790, who resigned in order to accept the office of Governor of New Jersey.[citation needed] His resignation was only the third time a person ceased to hold a seat in the Senate, which had first convened during the preceding year, 1789. The earlier ones resulted from the death of Senator William Grayson of Virginia, and the expiration of the term of the temporary senator John Walker of Virginia, who was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to hold that office until a successor could be elected in November.[citation needed]

Before 1796, eight senators resigned. Nine senators resigned during that year – a record high number that stands to this day.[citation needed] Most resignations have been motivated either by declining health or a decision to accept another office.[citation needed] Sixteen persons have resigned from the Senate twice and two have resigned three times.[citation needed]

List of resignations by date

Name State Date of resignation Notes
William Paterson New Jersey November 13, 1790 Resigned to become Governor of New Jersey
Samuel Johnson Connecticut March 3, 1791
Richard Lee Virginia October 8, 1792
Charles Carroll Maryland November 30, 1792
George Read Delaware September 18, 1793
James Monroe Virginia March 27, 1794
John Taylor of Caroline Virginia May 11, 1794
James Jackson Georgia November 16, 1795
Oliver Ellsworth Connecticut March 8, 1796
Rufus King New York May 23, 1796
Caleb Strong Massachusetts June 1, 1796
George Cabot Massachusetts June 9, 1796
Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. Connecticut June 10, 1796
Moses Robinson Vermont October 15, 1796
Richard Potts Maryland October 24, 1796
Pierce Butler South Carolina October 25, 1796
Frederick Frelinghuysen New Jersey November 12, 1796
William Cocke Tennessee September 26, 1797
William Bradford Rhode Island October ??, 1797
Isaac Tichenor Vermont October 17, 1797 Resigned to become Governor of Vermont[2]
John Henry Maryland December 10, 1797
Philip Schuyler New York January 3, 1798
John Vining Delaware January 19, 1798
Andrew Jackson Tennessee April 1, 1798
John Sloss Hobart New York April 16, 1798
John Hunter South Carolina November 26, 1798
John Rutherfurd New Jersey December 5, 1798
Joseph Anderson Tennessee March 3, 1799
Samuel Dexter Massachusetts May 30, 1800 Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of War[3]
John Laurance New York August 1, 1800
Benjamin Goodhue Massachusetts November 8, 1800
James Lloyd Maryland December 1, 1800
James Schureman New Jersey February 16, 1801
Henry Latimer Delaware February 28, 1801
Ray Greene Rhode Island March 5, 1801
Charles Pinckney South Carolina June 6, 1801
Samuel Livermore New Hampshire June 12, 1801
Elijah Paine Vermont September 1, 1801
John Armstrong, Jr. New York February 5, 1802
James Sheafe New Hampshire June 14, 1802
Dwight Foster Massachusetts March 2, 1803
DeWitt Clinton New York November 4, 1803
Theodorus Bailey New York January 16, 1804
John Armstrong, Jr. New York February 23, 1804
Abraham Venable Virginia June 7, 1804
John Armstrong, Jr. New York June 30, 1804
William Wells Delaware November 6, 1804
William Giles Virginia December 3, 1804
Andrew Moore Virginia December 3, 1804
John Breckinridge Kentucky August 7, 1805
Robert Wright Maryland November 12, 1806
John Adair Kentucky November 18, 1806
David Stone North Carolina February 17, 1807
James Fenner Rhode Island September ??, 1807
Israel Smith Vermont October 1, 1807
John Smith Ohio April 25, 1808 Resigned after being indicted but not expelled in a 19–10 vote[4]
Quincy Adams Massachusetts June 8, 1808
Samuel Maclay Pennsylvania January 4, 1809
Aaron Kitchell New Jersey March 3, 1809
Daniel Smith Tennessee March 31, 1809
John Milledge Georgia November 14, 1809
Buckner Thruston Kentucky December 18, 1809
Nahum Parker New Hampshire June 1, 1810
James Hillhouse Connecticut June 10, 1810
Return Meigs, Jr. Ohio December 8, 1810
Thomas Sumter South Carolina December 16, 1810
Jenkin Whiteside Tennessee October 8, 1811
Christopher Champlin Rhode Island October 12, 1811
Jean Noel Destréan Louisiana October 1, 1812
James Bayard Delaware March 3, 1813
Dudley Chase Vermont March 3, 1813
William Crawford Georgia March 23, 1813
James Lloyd Massachusetts May 1, 1813
Chauncey Goodrich Connecticut May 13, 1813
George Campbell Tennessee February 11, 1814
Michael Leib Pennsylvania February 14, 1814
George Bibb Kentucky August 23, 1814
Thomas Worthington Ohio December 1, 1814
Jesse Bledsoe Kentucky December 24, 1814
David Stone North Carolina December 24, 1814
William Giles Virginia March 3, 1815
Francis Locke North Carolina December 5, 1815
William Barry Kentucky May 1, 1816
Christopher Gore Massachusetts May 30, 1816
John Taylor South Carolina November ??, 1816
Wyatt Bibb Georgia November 9, 1816
James Turner North Carolina November 21, 1816
Goodloe Harper Maryland December 6, 1816
Jeremiah Mason New Hampshire June 16, 1817
James Fisk Vermont January 8, 1818
George Campbell Tennessee April 20, 1818
Eli Ashmun Massachusetts May 10, 1818
George Troup Georgia September 23, 1818
John Forsyth Georgia February 17, 1819
John Crittenden Kentucky March 3, 1819
John Eppes Virginia December 4, 1819
Prentis Mellen Massachusetts May 15, 1820
Walter Leake Mississippi May 15, 1820
William Logan Kentucky May 28, 1820
James Wilson New Jersey January 8, 1821
Freeman Walker Georgia August 6, 1821
Gray Otis Massachusetts May 30, 1822
Williams Walker Alabama December 12, 1822
James Pleasants Virginia December 15, 1822
Caesar Rodney Delaware January 29, 1823
Samuel Southard New Jersey March 3, 1823
James Brown Louisiana December 10, 1823
Ninian Edwards Illinois March 3, 1824
Henry Johnson Louisiana May 27, 1824
James Barbour Virginia March 7, 1825
David Holmes Mississippi September 25, 1825
Andrew Jackson Tennessee October 14, 1825
James DeWolf Rhode Island October 31, 1825
Edward Lloyd Maryland January 14, 1826
James Lloyd Massachusetts May 23, 1826
Henry Harrison Ohio May 20, 1828
Albion Parris Maine August 26, 1828
Thomas Cobb Georgia November 7, 1828
Nathaniel Macon North Carolina December 14, 1828
Ephraim Bateman New Jersey January 12, 1829
Mahlon Dickerson New Jersey January 30, 1829
John Berrien Georgia March 9, 1829
John Branch North Carolina March 9, 1829
John Eaton Tennessee March 9, 1829
Louis McLane Delaware April 16, 1829
Edward Livingston Louisiana May 24, 1831
Issac Barnard Pennsylvania December 6, 1831
Powhatan Ellis Mississippi July 16, 1832
Littleton Tazewell Virginia July 16, 1832
Robert Hayne South Carolina December 13, 1832
William Marcy New York January 1, 1833
George Troup Georgia November 8, 1833
William Rives Virginia February 22, 1834
John Forsyth Georgia June 27, 1834
Ezekiel Chambers Maryland December 20, 1834
Peleg Sprague Maine January 1, 1835
Charles Gayarré Louisiana January ??, 1836
John Tyler Virginia February 29, 1836
Ether Shepley Maine March 3, 1836
Willie Mangum North Carolina March 19, 1836
Isaac Hill New Hampshire May 30, 1836
Arnold Naudain Delaware June 16, 1836
Benjamin Leigh Virginia July 4, 1836
John Clayton Delaware December 29, 1836
Alexander Porter Louisiana January 5, 1837
Richard Parker Virginia March 13, 1837
John McKinley Alabama April 22, 1837
Pendleton King Georgia November 1, 1837
John Black Mississippi January 22, 1838
Felix Grundy Tennessee July 4, 1838
James Trotter Mississippi July 10, 1838
Ephraim Foster Tennessee March 3, 1839
Richard Bayard Delaware September 19, 1839
Lawson White Tennessee January 13, 1840
Robert Strange North Carolina November 16, 1840
Bedford Brown North Carolina November 16, 1840
John Davis Massachusetts January 5, 1841
Daniel Webster Massachusetts February 22, 1841 Resigned to become United States Secretary of State[5]
Comer Clay Alabama November 15, 1841
Franklin Pierce New Hampshire February 28, 1842
Alexander Mouton Louisiana March 1, 1842
Henry Clay Kentucky March 31, 1842
Samuel Prentiss Vermont April 11, 1842
Samuel Southard New Jersey June 26, 1842
Reuel Williams Maine February 15, 1843
John Calhoun South Carolina March 3, 1843
William Sprague Rhode Island January 17, 1844
William King Alabama April 15, 1844
Nathaniel Tallmadge New York June 17, 1844
Silas Wright, Jr. New York November 26, 1844
John Berrien Georgia March 1, 1845
Elliot Huger South Carolina March 3, 1845
Levi Woodbury New Hampshire September 20, 1845
William Haywood, Jr. North Carolina July 25, 1846
Walter Colquitt Georgia February 4, 1848
Ambrose Sevier Arkansas March 15, 1848
Lewis Cass Michigan May 29, 1848
John Crittenden Kentucky June 12, 1848
Arthur Bagby Alabama June 16, 1848
John Clayton Delaware February 2, 1849
Reverdy Johnson Maryland March 7, 1849
Daniel Webster Massachusetts July 22, 1850 Resigned again to again take office as United States Secretary of State[6]
Jefferson Davis Mississippi September 23, 1851 Resigned to run for Governor of Mississippi
Robert Rhett South Carolina May 7, 1852
John Berrien Georgia May 28, 1852
William King Alabama December 20, 1852
Robert Stockton New Jersey January 10, 1853
Solon Borland Arkansas April 11, 1853
Pierre Soulé Louisiana April 11, 1853
Edward Everett Massachusetts June 1, 1854
Augustus Dodge Iowa February 22, 1855
Hannibal Hamlin Maine January 7, 1857 Resigned to become Governor of Maine
Asa Biggs North Carolina May 5, 1858
Hannibal Hamlin Maine January 17, 1861 Resigned to become Vice President of the United States
Jefferson Davis Mississippi January 21, 1861 Became president of the Confederacy
John Slidell Louisiana February 4, 1861
Thomas Bragg North Carolina March 6, 1861
Salmon Chase Ohio March 6, 1861
Thomas Clingman North Carolina March 11, 1861
Andrew Johnson Tennessee March 4, 1862
James Simmons Rhode Island August 15, 1862 Resigned after a case for explusion was declined[7]
Waitman Willey Virginia March 3, 1863
James Bayard, Jr. Delaware January 29, 1864 Resigned in protest of new Senate Loyalty Oath[8]
William Fessenden Maine July 1, 1864
James Harlan Iowa May 15, 1865
Daniel Clark New Hampshire July 27, 1866
James Guthrie Kentucky February 7, 1868
Reverdy Johnson Maryland July 10, 1868
James Grimes Iowa December 6, 1869
Charles Drake Missouri December 19, 1870
William Kellogg Louisiana November 1, 1872
Henry Wilson Massachusetts March 3, 1873
Alexander Caldwell Kansas March 24, 1873
Eugene Casserly California November 29, 1873
Adelbert Ames Mississippi January 4, 1874
Lot Morrill Maine July 7, 1876
John Sherman Ohio March 8, 1877 Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Treasury[3]
Isaac Christiancy Michigan February 10, 1879
Brown Gordon Georgia May 26, 1880
James G. Blaine Maine March 5, 1881
Samuel Kirkwood Iowa March 7, 1881
William Windom Minnesota March 7, 1881
Thomas Platt New York May 16, 1881 Resigned in support of fellow Senator Conkling's protest[9]
Roscoe Conkling New York May 16, 1881 Resigned in protest of the appointment of a New York City customs collector by President James A. Garfield[9]
Henry Teller Colorado April 17, 1882
Augustus Garland Arkansas March 6, 1885
Thomas Bayard Delaware March 6, 1885
Howell Jackson Tennessee April 14, 1886
Jonathan Chace Rhode Island April 9, 1889
John Henninger Reagan Texas June 10, 1891 Resigned to take office as the chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas[10]
John Carlisle Kentucky February 4, 1893
Edward White Louisiana March 12, 1894
John Sherman Ohio March 4, 1897
William Clark Montana May 15, 1900
Charles Fairbanks Indiana March 3, 1905
Joseph Burton Kansas June 4, 1906 Resigned following corruption charges (Burton v. United States)[11]
Coit Spooner Wisconsin April 30, 1907
Philander Knox Pennsylvania March 4, 1909
Fountain Thompson North Dakota January 31, 1910
Joseph Terrell Georgia July 14, 1911
Weldon Bailey Texas January 3, 1913
Warren G. Harding Ohio January 13, 1921 First President of the United States to be elected during his term as a Senator
John Nugent Idaho January 14, 1921
Albert Fall New Mexico March 4, 1921
Josiah Wolcott Delaware July 2, 1921
William Kenyon Iowa February 24, 1922
Truman Newberry Michigan November 18, 1922[11] Resigned after being condemned for violating campaign financing rules[12]
Frank Smith Illinois December 7, 1926
T. Coleman du Pont Delaware December 8, 1928
Charles Curtis Kansas March 3, 1929
Evans Edge New Jersey November 21, 1929
Fred Sackett Kentucky January 9, 1930
Cordell Hull Tennessee March 3, 1933
Claude Swanson Virginia March 3, 1933
Sam Bratton New Mexico June 24, 1933
Hugo Black Alabama August 19, 1937
Bibb Graves Alabama January 10, 1938
Harry Moore New Jersey January 17, 1938
Frederick Steiwer Oregon January 31, 1938
Gibbs McAdoo California November 8, 1938
Matthew Neely West Virginia January 12, 1941
John Miller Arkansas March 31, 1941
James Byrnes South Carolina July 8, 1941
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Massachusetts February 3, 1944
Homer Bone Washington November 13, 1944
Sinclair Weeks Massachusetts December 19, 1944
Monrad Wallgren Washington January 9, 1945
Harry Truman Missouri January 17, 1945 Resigned to become Vice President of the United States
Harold Burton Ohio September 30, 1945
Happy Chandler Kentucky November 1, 1945
Warren Austin Vermont August 2, 1946
Hugh Mitchell Washington December 25, 1946
Vera Bushfield South Dakota December 26, 1948
Alben Barkley Kentucky January 19, 1949
Robert Wagner New York June 28, 1949
Howard McGrath Rhode Island August 23, 1949
Raymond Baldwin Connecticut December 16, 1949
Sheridan Downey California November 30, 1950
Ralph Brewster Maine December 31, 1952
Richard Nixon California January 1, 1953 Resigned to become Vice President of the United States
Charles Daniel South Carolina December 23, 1954
Hazel Abel Nebraska December 31, 1954
Strom Thurmond South Carolina April 4, 1956[13]
Price Daniel Texas January 14, 1957[14]
John F. Kennedy Massachusetts December 22, 1960 Resigned to take office as President of the United States[15]
Lyndon Johnson Texas January 3, 1961[16] Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States[15]
Hubert Humphrey Minnesota December 29, 1964 Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Pierre Salinger California December 31, 1964
Harry Byrd Virginia November 10, 1965
John Williams Delaware December 31, 1970
George Murphy California January 2, 1971
William Saxbe Ohio January 3, 1974
Alan Bible Nevada December 17, 1974
Wallace Bennett Utah December 20, 1974
Howard Metzenbaum Ohio December 23, 1974
Marlow Cook Kentucky December 27, 1974
J. William Fulbright Arkansas December 31, 1974
Edward Gurney Florida December 31, 1974
Sam Ervin North Carolina December 31, 1974
Stuart Symington Missouri December 27, 1976
John Pastore Rhode Island December 28, 1976
Walter Mondale Minnesota December 30, 1976[17] Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Paul Hatfield Montana December 12, 1978
James Pearson Kansas December 23, 1978
Wendell Anderson Minnesota December 29, 1978
Clifford Hansen Wyoming December 31, 1978
Edmund Muskie Maine May 7, 1980 Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of State[3]
John Durkin New Hampshire December 29, 1980
Richard Stone Florida December 31, 1980
Harrison Williams New Jersey March 11, 1982[11]
Paul Tsongas Massachusetts January 2, 1985
David Karnes Nebraska December 8, 1988
Dan Quayle Indiana January 3, 1989 Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States
Gordon Humphrey New Hampshire December 4, 1990
Pete Wilson California January 7, 1991 Resigned to take office as Governor of California
Kent Conrad North Dakota December 14, 1992
Al Gore Tennessee January 2, 1993 Resigned to take office as Vice President of the United States.
Lloyd Bentsen Texas January 20, 1993 Resigned to take office as United States Secretary of the Treasury[3]
David Boren Oklahoma December 15, 1994
Bob Packwood Oregon October 1, 1995
Bob Dole Kansas June 11, 1996 Resigned to run for President of the United States[18]
Frank Murkowski Alaska December 2, 2002 Resigned to become Governor of Alaska
Jon Corzine New Jersey January 17, 2006 Resigned to become Governor of New Jersey
Trent Lott Mississippi December 18, 2007
Barack Obama Illinois November 16, 2008[19] Resigned to take office as President of the United States
Joe Biden Delaware January 15, 2009 Resigned to become Vice President of the United States
Ken Salazar Colorado January 20, 2009 Resigned to become United States Secretary of the Interior
Hillary Clinton New York January 21, 2009 Resigned to become Secretary of State.[20]
Mel Martínez Florida September 9, 2009
John Ensign Nevada March 3, 2011
Jim DeMint South Carolina January 1, 2013
John Kerry Massachusetts February 1, 2013 Resigned to become Secretary of State
Max Baucus Montana February 6, 2014 Resigned to become Ambassador to China
Tom Coburn Oklahoma January 3, 2015
Jeff Sessions Alabama February 8, 2017 Resigned to become Attorney General
Al Franken Minnesota January 2, 2018[21][22] Resigned after allegations of sexual harassment. He said he expected that an investigation would clear him but he could not do his job and undergo investigation at the same time.
Thad Cochran Mississippi April 1, 2018[23] Resigned because of health issues

References

  1. ^ "The Term of A Senator – When Does It Begin and End? – Senate 98-29" (PDF). United States Senate. United States Printing Office. pp. 14–15. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "TICHENOR, Isaac – Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d "1787: From the Senate to the Cabinet, May 13, 1800". United States Senate. Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  4. ^ "1801: John Smith Resigns Under Fire – April 25, 1808". United States Senate. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  5. ^ "1801: Daniel Webster Quits the Senate – July 22, 1850". United States Senate. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Senate: 1801: Speech Costs Senator his Seat – March 7, 1850". United States Senate. Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Senate: James Simmons expulsion case". United States Senate. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  8. ^ "1851: Senator Resigns to Protest Civil War Loyalty Oath – January 29, 1864". United States Senate. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  9. ^ a b "1878: Both New York Senators Resign – May 16, 1881". United States Senate. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  10. ^ Senate, United States Congress (1903). Compilation of Senate Election Cases from 1789 to 1885. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 48. 
  11. ^ a b c "U.S. Senate: Expulsion and Censure". United States Senate. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  12. ^ "1921: Senator Condemned for Excessive Campaign Expenditures – January 12, 1922". United States Senate. Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  13. ^ "The Term of A Senator – When Does It Begin and End? – Senate 98–29" (PDF). United States Senate. United States Printing Office. p. 5. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "The Term of A Senator – When Does It Begin and End? – Senate 98–29" (PDF). United States Senate. United States Printing Office. p. 9. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "1941: Two Senators to the White House". United States Senate. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  16. ^ "The Term of A Senator – When Does It Begin and End? – Senate 98–29" (PDF). United States Senate. United States Printing Office. p. 11. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  17. ^ "The Term of A Senator – When Does It Begin and End? – Senate 98–29" (PDF). United States Senate. United States Printing Office. p. 13. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  18. ^ "Senator Dole Resignation – Video – C-SPAN.org". C-SPAN. Retrieved 2016-02-13. 
  19. ^ Barack Obama's letter of resignation from the Senate, address to Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, at Wikisource
  20. ^ Tumulty, Brian (January 21, 2009). "Clinton sworn in at State Dept. and then resigns Senate". The Journal News. 
  21. ^ http://www.startribune.com/transition-time-franken-moves-out-smith-moves-in/467678623/
  22. ^ https://twitter.com/stribrooks/status/948267853668585472/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fthehill.com%2Fhomenews%2Fsenate%2F367105-franken-makes-senate-resignation-official Sen. Franken's letter of resignation
  23. ^ https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/03/05/mississippi-republican-sen-thad-cochran-announces-he-retire-april-1-citing-health-issues/397119002/
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