A three judge panel just ruled in favor of a NJ Tea Party group stating that they have the right to try to recall one of their senators. The ruling doesn't allow them to pursue recall just yet, however. The case is pending appeal. Up for debate is the constitutionality of recalling a federal elected official, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). Apparently there is no provision for such an action in the United States Constitution, no matter whether the tea partiers get the state required 1.3 million signatures from constituents or not, so the court is expecting a challenge and will not allow the Tea Party to start proceedings.
One would like to think that the people of a state could recall their own representation, but it seems there's never been a need for that option before. This is a major case that bears watching. If the courts finally rule that recall is possible, there is the potential that some of the other 8 states that have recall legislation might follow suit.
There is another school of thought that recall is, in fact, provided for - in the state's constitution. According to the Recall Congress Now website, the people of New Jersey:
...reserve unto themselves the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing this State in the United States Congress. The Legislature shall enact laws to provide for such recall elections.
The United States Constitution is silent on this matter. Because there is no provision for recall in the US Constitution, deference will hopefully be paid to the will of the state in question. If so, New Jersey's constitution certainly provides for it.
It is interesting that there is no provision for recall in the Constitution. Considering how protective our Founding Fathers were of states rights, it seems odd that they are silent. Could it be that they were continuing in the same vein of protecting the states rights by leaving it up to them to make legislation on the subject?
Crazy talk, I know.
The real question now is, will this case be resolved in time to make it worthwhile? In the meantime, congrats Tea Partiers of New Jersey - keep fighting the good fight!