Frank Lautenberg just died. He was the oldest Senator, the last WWII vet still serving, and he was a Democrat.
Chris Christie gets to appoint the interim replacement. And of course, he’ll appoint a Republican. But it may not be a smooth transition (like we really need this?):
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) can appoint a replacement for Lautenberg, meaning Senate Democrats lose a reliable vote as they take on tough issues like immigration reform this summer.
However, there is some question over whether Christie’s appointment would face a special election in November — as Democrats claim — or would serve out the remainder of Lautenberg’s term. Democrats are expected to file a legal challenge on this issue in New Jersey.
Since it increasingly seem likely that the planned debt ceiling confrontation may be a dud after all, here comes a whopper, just in time, to raise the political hackles.