Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) had previously announced that he planned to retire at the end of his term in 2014. However, if this article from Politico is accurate, he doesn’t plan to return to the Senate this coming week – or maybe ever.
On Friday night, with the Senate still in recess, Lautenberg released a statement announcing he would be out next week. Lautenberg did not make clear any return date.
“I regret that I will not be returning to Washington next week as I continue treatment for, and recuperate from, muscle weakness and fatigue. My physician continues to advise me to work from home and not travel at this time,” Lautenberg said in a statement issued by his office.
Lautenberg added: “I am disappointed I will not be present for the opening of the debate on gun legislation in the Senate. It is an issue I am deeply passionate about, and my victories over the gun lobby are among my proudest accomplishments. I am, however, gratified that my legislation to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines will be one of the key amendments offered to this bill.”
I’m not disappointed nor do I think anyone who believes in the Second Amendment is going to be disappointed if Lautenberg never returns.
The Politico article goes into the timing of a potential early retirement. If Lautenberg retires before late August, an interim senator would be appointed to serve until November 2013 at which time a special election would held. If it goes beyond that time, the interim senator would serve out the remainder of the term. It is presumed that Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) would appoint a Republican to serve as the interim senator. That said, if the Republican senator holds similar views on guns to that of Christie, it would be no gain for gun rights.