03/21/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Special Election For Burris Seat Would Be Challenged: Scholar

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A constitutional scholar says there's a possibility the Illinois Legislature could call a special election to replace U.S. Sen. Roland Burris.

But Dawn Clark Netsch says it's a remote chance that likely would be challenged in court.

The U.S. Constitution says Senate seats are filled temporarily by the governor until voters elect someone as directed by state law. Illinois law says that's the next regular election _ or November 2010.

But Netsch helped write the Illinois Constitution, and she says the Legislature could change the law and call an election sooner than that.

Netsch says the U.S. Constitution's provision is based on a Senate vacancy. But Burris is holding the seat so it would be ripe for a lawsuit.

Burris has faced calls to resign now that he says he had more contact with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's staff about the Senate seat than he originally told lawmakers.