9

I live in Colorado.

  • Is there an procedure to recall a senator or representatives in Congress in my state?
  • What are the steps in executing that procedure?
5

No, there is no procedure to recall a member of the US Congress.

While GµårÐïåñ's answer points to states that have procedures to recall state legislative and other state and local officials, there is no procedure at the state level to remove federal legislative officer such as a US Senator or US Congressman.

The Congressional Research Service in their whitepaper Recall of Legislators and the Removal of Members of Congress from Office goes into great detail on why this is true, the history of recall in the US, but the brief outline covers your specific question.

As to removal by recall, the United States Constitution does not provide for nor authorize the recall of United States officers such as Senators, Representatives, or the President or Vice President, and thus no Member of Congress has ever been recalled in the history of the United States. [...] Although the Supreme Court has not needed to directly address the subject of recall of Members of Congress, other Supreme Court decisions, as well as the weight of other judicial and administrative decisions, rulings, and opinions, indicate that

(1) the right to remove a Member of Congress before the expiration of his or her constitutionally established term of office is one which resides exclusively in each house of Congress as expressly delegated in the expulsion clause of the United States Constitution, and

(2) the length and number of the terms of office for federal officials, established and agreed upon by the states in the Constitution creating that federal government, may not be unilaterally changed by an individual state, such as through the enactment of a recall provision or a term limitation for a United States Senator or Representative.

Under Supreme Court constitutional interpretation, since individual states never had the original sovereign authority to unilaterally change the terms and conditions of service of federal officials agreed to and established in the Constitution, such a power could not be “reserved” under the Tenth Amendment.

  • 1
    Yes, there are constitutional provisions in 18 states that allow you to recall a senator. Those are individuals representing the state federally, not at the state level of legislation. I also mentioned that in the history of the US it has not been done yet, but doesn't mean the provisions are not there. – GµårÐïåñ Jan 12 '14 at 22:42
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    I don't care about your upvote and nothing you have quoted from The Congressional Research Service disagrees with me in any way. Its your personal spin on it that disagrees. – GµårÐïåñ Jan 13 '14 at 0:25
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    @GµårÐïåñ, nothing except points (1) and (2). "the right to remove a Member of Congress before the expiration of his or her constitutionally established term of office is one which resides exclusively in each house of Congress as expressly delegated in the expulsion clause of the United States Constitution" Unless you are claiming that your answer does have a procedure for recall, it just doesn't do anything. (What spin?) – user1873 Jan 13 '14 at 0:54

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