INAUGURATION DAY: President Mellark, Vice President Tarson sworn in for second term

Today marked the second inauguration of Panem’s fifth president, Peeta Mellark (Liberty Party-District 12), and Panem’s sixth vice president, Rebecca Tarson (Liberty Party-District 12). The pair were reelected in the closest federal elections in Panem history. Below are some notable results from this past election:


  • President: Peeta Mellark. Mellark was reelected as president in a tight election that required the nation’s first federal runoff election for the presidency. Mellark received 51 electoral votes in the first round, which was 18 short of the 69 needed to achieve an outright win, and 34.23 percent of the popular vote. In the second round, Mellark narrowly achieved an outright win over former Gov. Kaitlyn Jones, the Conservative nominee, with exactly 69 electoral votes to Jones’ 67. The popular vote percentage for the final round was 52.02 percent Mellark to 47.98 percent Jones.
  • Vice President: Rebecca Tarson. Tarson was reelected as vice president in an even tighter election than the President’s, requiring a federal runoff election that resulted in an electoral vote tie that had to be broken by determination of the popular vote winner. Tarson received 61 electoral votes in the first round, which was 8 short of the 69 needed to achieve an outright majority in the first round, and 36 percent of the popular vote. In the second round, Tarson tied the electoral college with Centre nominee Rep. Matthias Christian, which required a determination of the winner by popular vote. As the final results reflected a lead for Tarson of 51.58 percent to Christian’s 48.42 percent, Tarson was reelected vice president.
  • In the districtwide elections, four governorships, three lieutenant governorships, and two district legislatures flipped parties, with the following elected this election:
    • Governors: Cooper McPharlin (Conservative-D1), Donald Beck (Centre-D6), Glenn Beckham (Conservative-D7), Dillan Christian (Centre-D10)
    • Lt. Governors: Haywood Jackson (Conservative-D1), Lydia Rome (Conservative-D7), Cyrus Westley (Centre-D10)
    • District Legislatures: District 1 Legislature (Liberty –> Conservative), District 10 Legislature (Liberty –> Centre)
  • In the race for control of the House, the composition of the Panem House of Representatives now is 96 Liberty members, 54 Centre members, 25 Conservative members, 18 Labor members, 6 Civic members, and 1 independent member who will caucus with Liberty. Liberty has lost the majority in the House, but has formed a leadership coalition with the Conservative Party in order to maintain control of the chamber. The leaders of each party in the House are;
    • Presumptive Speaker of the House of Representatives: Constantin Richelieu (Liberty-D14)
    • House Majority Leader (thus, Liberty Party leader): Miranda O’Neal (Liberty-D13)
    • House Majority Whip (thus, Conservative Party leader): Kari Lyles (Conservative-D10)
    • Leader of the Opposition (thus, Centre Party leader): Daniel Hutton (Centre-D15)
    • Labor leader: Teraton Wendle (D2)
    • Civic leader: Georgia Landon (D13)
  • Following the resignation of D7 Governor Mason Wallace, Patty Newsom became governor of District 7 until the inauguration of Glenn Beckham.
  • If the nominations of President-elect Mellark are confirmed, the following will become governor:
    • Harriet Myers, District 12
    • Marshall Risinger, District 15

Vice President-elect Rebecca Tarson (Liberty-D12) arrived first, as tradition holds, coming in her motorcade from 1 Corsican Circle, the official residence of the Vice President. Also in the motorcade was Second Gentleman Nathaniel Tarson. Vice President-elect Tarson ascended the steps of the Capitol towards the center dais, where she would be inaugurated. For the first time in Panem’s history, the oath of office was delivered to a federal official by a female justice. Chief Justice Francine Ashland Brewster administered the oath of office to the Vice President-elect, making her formally Vice President once again.

Due to a technicality in the Panem Constitution, the Vice President-elect always is sworn in prior to the presidential inauguration. This is due to the possible circumstance of the president’s death prior to the vice presidential inauguration, which would hence cause a constitutional crisis. Therefore, upon inauguration, the Vice President becomes Acting President for at least two hours until the presidential inauguration.

And thus, Vice President-elect Tarson became Vice President and acting President Tarson.

The president-elect’s motorcade left Stonehaven (also known as the White House or the Presidential Mansion) for the inauguration. In the motorcade were President-elect Peeta Mellark, former President and First Lady Katniss Everdeen, and their child, Delia Mellark. The three exited the motorcade and moved into the Capitol, where they began the traditional walk through the Capitol to the outer steps for the inauguration.

President-elect Mellark and First Lady Everdeen once again reprised their positions in one of the most famous images in political history; two presidents, walking together to the inauguration of one. This time, however, Delia Mellark was present. At the top of the steps waiting was Chief Justice Francine Ashland Brewster. She represented the starkest difference in the presidential backdrop of the inauguration, but also represented one of Mellark’s key accomplishments. Once Ashland Brewster administered the oath, the crowd ruptured with applause.

Following his oath, President Peeta Mellark came to the podium to deliver his inaugural address:

“Four years ago, we embarked on a journey that was destined to be long and treacherous. We faced a devastating economy, a dangerous world, and a crumbling country. I promised to you four years ago on these very steps that we would return to being a guiding light for the world to follow, that we would end the discord in our country and bring about harmony, faith, and hope. I pray that these goals have been at least partially accomplished during my first term. Together, we accomplished more than we ever thought possible, and now it is time to move towards a grander and greater second term. As we have restored the light to our nation, we now must lead the world. We cannot sit by idly and allow for global disruption. We must act for freedom, for our shared ideals. We must decisively act to ensure the fundamental justice we know here in Panem is shown to all of mankind. We have a duty to the rest of the world to prove that Panem is willing to step up to the job and lead this wonderful world.” — President Peeta Mellark (Liberty Party-District 12)

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President Mellark formally asks Congress to allow intervention in Greece; Congress approves

Following this week’s nuclear debacle in Greece, President Peeta Mellark (Liberty-D12) formally asked Congress to approve articles allowing for an intervention in Greece.

Earlier this week, it was determined that nuclear weapons previously controlled by the rebel Greek military had become unaccounted for. Since then, it has been determined that while the Greek military was in the process of moving the stockpile under the possible intent of using the weapons on their own, several nuclear weapons were misplaced in the process and fell into the hands of terrorist organizations. It is currently unknown which organization has the nuclear weapons.

Congress easily passed the articles allowing for an intervention. The House passed the articles by a vote of 134-66. The Senate vote tally is below.

Voting aye (24): Bass (Lib-D1), Benson (Lib-Capitol), Briscoe (Lib-D7), Debroff (Lib-D11), Delacruz (Lib-D5), Delsont (Lib-D11), Descoteaux (Lib-D14), Ellsworth (Lib-D3), Folsom (Lib-D8), Hampton (Lib-D2), Harrison (Lib-D4), James (Lib-D2), Oppenheim (Lib-D13), Quaker (Lib-D12), Qurius (Lib-D5), Randall (Centre-D9), Roydon (Centre-Capitol), Sanford (Lib-D15), Talton (Lib-D13), Thibault (Lib-D14), Trent (Lib-D12), Wallace (Lib-D4),  Weston (Lib-D1), Wilkie (Lib-D7).

Voting nay (8): Canstrom (Lab-D9), Garrett (Centre-D15), Kennedy (Civic-D6), Kramer (Civic-D6), Newsom (Civic-D3), Richards (Lab-D10), Wallace (Lab-D8), Walters (Lab-D10)

 

BREAKING: Jacquelyn Warner named D7 Senator; Karina Erickson named Solicitor General

BREAKING: Jacquelyn Warner officially tendered her resignation to President Peeta Mellark today before taking the oath of office as District 7’s new junior senator. Soon after, Senator Warner rushed over to the White House, where she stood by as former Attorney General Karina Erickson was nominated to be her successor as Solicitor General.

The double-whammy of nominations ended a long game of musical chairs in the Capitol, all of which started with Associate Justice Malcolm Lowell’s passing. Attorney General Alexandra West was selected to succeed him on the Supreme Court, which then triggered Senator Calvin Wilkie’s nomination as Attorney General. In turn, that allowed for Jacquelyn Warner’s appointment as senator, which resulted in Karina Erickson being nominated for Solicitor General.

Reportedly, Jacquelyn Warner was number one on Governor Mason Wallace (Liberty-D7)’s list out of a total of one candidate. Warner had previously been plotting a run for political office, according to insiders. It is unknown if that run would have been for governor or for senator, but it was likely that Warner would have made either primary competitive as her approval ratings are quite high in her home district.

Karina Erickson’s return to the Department of Justice is nothing short of intriguing as she returns to a lesser position that one she previously occupied. However, it’s rumored that Erickson accepted the position after much advice to do so from Secretary Celine Oswald, First Lady Katniss Everdeen, President Peeta Mellark, Vice President Rebecca Tarson, and even newly-minted Senator Warner herself.

Now, the President must work to usher in three nominees for three separate positions: Associate Justice, Attorney General, and Solicitor General. Jacquelyn Warner, however, does not require an approval process; she, however, faces her first election in the next midterm election.

BREAKING: Sen. Calvin Wilkie named Attorney General, resigns Senate seat

BREAKING: Calvin Wilkie, the senior senator from District 7 and a Liberty Party member, has been named as President Mellark’s pick to be the second Attorney General in his administration.

Wilkie, a two-term senator, has served District 7 in multiple capacities. Wilkie previously served as District 7 Attorney General before being named a federal attorney by President Everdeen. Wilkie then returned to District 7 after four years to run for senator, which he easily won.

Wilkie was considered an outside pick for Attorney General. Many believed that the President would seek to appoint Jacquelyn Warner, the current solicitor general, or former Attorney General Karina Erickson to the post. However, the President as of late has made picks that have been considered unexpected by pundits, nominating Alexandra West to the Supreme Court and now Wilkie as Attorney General.

Following his nomination as Attorney General, Senator Wilkie resigned his Senate seat, stating that “it would represent a conflict of interest to serve in an organization that would vote on me for higher office. I have full confidence in my colleagues to make this decision without my involvement.” This now opens up a question of Wilkie’s successor in the Senate, who likely will be named prior to his confirmation hearing.

BREAKING: Pres. Mellark to name Alexandra West to SC spot

BREAKING: According to sources from within the White House, President Peeta Mellark (Liberty-D12) will name Alexandra West as his pick to succeed the recently passed Malcolm Lowell on the Supreme Court.

Alexandra West currently serves as the Attorney General of the Republic of Panem, presiding over the Department of Justice. Prior to this post, West served as the junior senator from District 1. Known for being a firebrand, West served as senatorial chair of the Joint Special Committee on Presidential Election Bribery, which indirectly resulted in the impeachment and removal of President Rick Canth (Conservative-D7). West previously ran for vice president as well, ultimately losing to current Vice President Rebecca Tarson (Liberty-D12).

The selection of West was deemed to be one of the more unlikely choices that the President could make, particularly due to her firebrand nature and her affinity for politics. However, following Solicitor General Jacquelyn Warner declining the nomination, West was the next choice on the President’s list. West must now be confirmed by a vote of the Senate. It is likely due to West’s political nature and fiery personality that her nomination will meet fierce pushback from Panem’s left-wing parties. Nonetheless, any filibuster by the opposition would only be sustained if they can convince ten Liberty senators to join the filibuster, a move that is incredibly unlikely to happen.

With the vacancy that will arise with West’s nomination, now speculation will begin regarding West’s successor should she be confirmed to the high court. Top picks include:

  • Solicitor General Jacquelyn Warner (Liberty-D7)
  • Former AG Karina Erickson (Liberty-D13)
  • Senator Hanley Trent (Liberty-D12)
  • Former AG Cecelia Paylor (Civic-D8)
  • Senator Calvin Wilkie (Liberty-D7)

REPORT: Jacquelyn Warner declines Supreme Court appointment

According to sources from the White House, President Peeta Mellark offered Jacquelyn Warner, the solicitor general of Panem, the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in order to replace the recently passed Malcolm Lowell. Warner, after deliberation for about a day, declined the nomination.

This declination sends the President back to the drawing board to find a new nominee for the high court. Other potential nominees included attorneys general such as Cecelia Paylor, Karina Erickson, and Alexandra West along with Senator Hanley Trent and circuit court judge Sherri Holmes.

Yet Another Appointment: A Look at Potential Nominees

Justice Malcolm Lowell’s passing was tragic and struck a chord throughout the judicial system. Now, it is up to President Mellark to determine Lowell’s successor- a lofty task due to the reverence around the Justice. Let’s look at some of his options.

INTERESTED:

Cecelia Paylor: Appointed by President Cecelia PaylorMellark as his national security advisor, it is no secret that Paylor would vie for this position. Paylor has previously served as Attorney General, heading up the Department of Justice. She has extensive experience with the court. However, she lacks judicial experience and her views are very opposed to what President Mellark may wish to have on the Court.

Odds: 12/1

Solicitor General Jacquelyn Warner: After only being appointed Solicitor General by President Mellark about two years ago, Jacquelyn Warner has risen to the top of many lists for this position. Her main obstacle remains her major lack of judicial experience, but considering that many on this lack such experience, it becomes less of an issue. A Warner appointment would not lack precedent, either: Associate Justice Felix Munoz served as Solicitor General before ascending to his position on the Court. Warner, however, has been expressed as a potential candidate for political office as well as a potential nominee for Attorney General. Nonetheless, Warner has stated in the past that a nomination to the Supreme Court would be “hard to pass up if that ever did come,” but that “the President would be wise to pick someone more qualified for the position.” We put her on this list as most likely to be chosen, but in reality, the nomination is more of a tossup at this point.

Odds: 3/1 

Senator Hanley Trent: A senator from the President’s home district and a personal friend of the Everdeen-Mellark family, Senator Hanley Trent made the shortlist for both previous Supreme Court openings. Before being elected senator, Trent served as District Attorney for the Capitol of District 12, Attorney General ofSenator Hanley Trent District 12, and as Deputy Attorney General in Karina Erickson’s Justice Department. Trent has extensive experience with the Supreme Court, having appeared before the Court no less than twenty times over the course of his career. However, like Paylor, Trent lacks judicial experience.

Odds: 6/1

SPECULATED:

Attorney General Alexandra West: The Attorney General of Panem has a particular tendency to land on lists such as this one due to the experience and prestige that the office brings. As such, it should not be a surprise that Alexandra West ends up being considered for this position. However, it is unknown if West is interested in leaving the political realm for a lifetime appointment in a system that is not known for fiery personas.

 

 

Odds: 7/1

Karina EricksoKarina Ericksonn: The former Attorney General in the Everdeen administration, Erickson should be an immediate thought in the minds of many that are formulating a list for an Associate Justice. Erickson’s time as Panem Attorney for District 13, Attorney General of District 13, and as President Everdeen’s Attorney General leaves her well qualified for the position. Many point to her lack of judicial experience, but most names under consideration also face this issue. Championing Erickson is Secretary Celine Oswald, a personal friend of Erickson’s.

Odds: 5/1