Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Roland Burris Should Be Seated


Under Illinois law, the governor has the legal authority to appoint a new senator in the case of a vacated seat. So to fill Barack Obama's seat, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris. Yet Senate Democrats today refused to allow Burris to take his seat.

The argument seems to be that because Blagojevich is under suspicion of having tried to sell the Senate seat, no candidate he appoints should be seated. This is ridiculous. Blagojevich may very well be corrupt and guilty, but he has not been found guilty and is still serving as governor. More importantly, there is absolutely no evidence that Burris has in any way purchased his seat.

This whole episode has been a farce, right from Patrick Fitzgerald's ham-fisted (if not unethical) handling of the whole case, to the Democrats's preference for public image over fairness and the presumption of innocence. Good on Dianne Feinstein for publicly voicing her disagreement with her party's leaders. I think that's the first thing she's ever done that I agree with...!

4 comments:

lewis said...

The US Constitution does not give Harry Reid the authority to add qualifications to a duly elected or appointed senator. He shouldn't be able to just make this stuff up as he goes. He should follow the Constitution and seat Burris.

But it has been a long time since these guys actually limited their authority in accordance with the specific powers granted by the Constitution.

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