Arizona provision could endanger Giffords' seat in CongressPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- A little known provision in Arizona law could endanger Gabrielle Giffords' seat in Congress.
Lawmakers and citizens alike, however, believe any move to replace the congresswoman would be met with severe opposition.
It was a day of celebration for one of the nation's most influential activists, but hearts were heavy for another public servant.
"She knows the love was awesome and it was for the best," said Diane Thornton.
Prayers and well wishes aside, a statutory provision in Arizona state law says Gabrielle Giffords could lose her seat in congress if she's not back to work within 90 days.
"There's no resignation here, there is no death so there is no vacancy in that seat," said Rep. Daniel Patterson.
State Representative Daniel Patterson does not beleive the law applies to this scenario.
But the provision is so vague, it fails to define what it means to no longer, "discharge the duties of office."
"If for some reason there is some political meddling and they try to force her out of that seat I'm certain that will be strongly challenged and likely would end up in court," said Rep. Patterson.
Given the push for a more subdued political tenor in Arizona, many speculate Governor Jan Brewer would not move to replace Giffords.
"It would be difficult for me to second guess that however again I think there would sort of be a small uprising if that were to happen," said visitor Toni Dunn.
If there are any doubts about Giffords ability to return and lead, residents say they've all been discredited with news of recovery.
"I believe Gabby will bring much more passion to her job."
"Probably going to be a little stronger than she was before because of what has happened to her," said James Smith.
According to state law, once an office is deemed vacant the governor can call a special Primary Election and a special general election to fill the seat.