By voice vote, the five-member panel rejected the entreaty.
McAllister, who has been charged with felony sexual assault, was suspended from the Senate in January pending the conclusion of his legal proceedings. At the time, his criminal trial was scheduled to begin in February. Jury draw was subsequently delayed until May.
Two weeks ago, a legislative lawyer wrote the Rules Committee on McAllister's behalf, asking for his suspension to be lifted. Through the lawyer, McAllister argued that he could fully perform his Senate duties and that suspension was now tantamount to expulsion, since his legal proceedings would not be resolved until after the legislative session wrapped up.
The Rules Committee disagreed.
"I do not think anything of significant change has occurred to have us reconsider," said Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell (D-Windsor), who chairs the panel. "I also think the Senate was clear in its position."
Sen. Phil Baruth (D-Chittenden), the majority leader, said "it was understood that the trial [date] could be a moving target" when the Senate voted 20-10 to suspend McAllister.
"And that was one of the reasons why the measure was drafted so that it didn't have a fixed date but had a target [of] when the charges were lifted," Baruth said. "And they haven't been lifted. So I agree with the chair that nothing has changed."
Sen. Peg Flory (R-Rutland), a close ally of McAllister's, was the sole dissenter. She agreed with her Franklin County colleague that the change in trial date was a material change.
Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) and Sen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle) joined Campbell and Baruth in rejecting the request.
"I'm disappointed," McAllister said by phone after the vote. "I'm disappointed in the whole Senate — the way it is run. They have utter disregard for anybody's — my constitutional rights, but also the constitutional rights of the people I was supposed to be serving here."
McAllister said he could not afford a lawyer to sue the legislature and could not find one who would represent him pro bono.
"The system doesn't work," he said. "The checks and balances don't work. I find myself in a legal situation where I can't get anybody that wants to defend the constitution of Vermont and the United States."
On Friday, McAllister said he was not ruling out a run for reelection.
"I've had quite a few people approach me and ask me to," he said. "I see a whole bunch of people lining up, figuring I'm vulnerable, including some Republicans. But that doesn't surprise me. I don't know right at this point. I'm seriously considering it. But right now I'm probably considered very damaged goods."