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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I say he should be. Why not? There is no indication that he is involved in any way in the scandal (that has also yet to be tried/proven).

Blagojevich (who I suppose still gets the legal presumption of innocent until proven guilty) really threw a monkey wrench into the Democratic party machine with that move.
 

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At this juncture, absolutely not. The appointment is by it's nature, going to remain under a cloud of doubt. Roland Burris seems a pretty good guy. Hold a special election and, if Burris is elected to the seat...I think he would prove himself to be more honorable than most of the crowd we have elected to office!
 

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I think he should be seated. Unless they can prove he bribed anyone or he was involved in the scandal.

Remember, we have innocent until proven guilty here. The governor hasn't actually been convicted of anything yet (we're putting the cart before the horse). Also, the notion that Senator Reid can just deny seating a Senator is preposterous. On Meet the Press he said, "We have the power to do whatever we want." Kinda scary if you ask me. The problem is that the Constitution only gives 3 requirements to be a Senator, and Burris fulfills all three, so you can't not seat him. Burris will win a Supreme Court case.

When Nixon said "When the President does it, it is not illegal," he caught a ton of flak. When Senator Reid says something similar, it goes unmentioned.
 

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Burris seems to be a decent guy, although my impression is that he's decidedly a second-stringer in Illinois politics, having tried to move from lower-profile statewide offices (Controller, AG) to higher offices and failed.

Blago is still the governor until he's removed. I doubt that there has been a big push to invalidate any other official actions he's taken during this period (bill signings, executive branch appointments, etc.), and it's hard to say that the investigation denudes him of his constitutional powers. Thus, on the face of it, it appears that he has the authority to make the appointment. I also don't think that the Secretary of State has the legal authority to reject the appointment, as the certification seems to be a ministerial duty and the law doesn't accord the Secretary of State any role in the selection of the next senator.

On the other hand, the case law seems to suggest that the Senate does have the authority to evaluate the eligibility of its members to serve in the Senate. I haven't gone back and read Powell v. McCormack, in which Adam Clayton Powell (D., Bimini) was expelled from the House, but it has been suggested that it would apply to this situation.

I think the most persuasive argument for not seating him is not a dislike for either him or Blago, but the fact that Blago's apparent attempts to sell Obama's seat has corrupted the entire process, and has prevented people who would have been viable candidates from obtaining the appointment (as, for instance, by their refusal to pay bribes). In that case, the only way to be confident that the appointment will be an honest one is to wipe the slate clean by impeaching Blago, removing him, and then having the Lt. Gov. succeed him and make the appointment.

As for a special election, I have two problems with it. First, it isn't what the statutes call for. Second, and this is related, it seems to be an ad hoc solution to a political problem; I think we're better off if we adhere to established procedures, especially when we're talking about the structure or composition of government.
 

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I get the impression Obama's honeymoon period is being blackmailed before he even takes the oath. We have this affair and now Richardson's possible indictment.I don't think I want to know what else is going on.
 

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As a resident of Illinois I don't oppose Burris being seated as my Senator. He's a decent guy to keep the seat warm until the next brutal primary for this "open" seat.

The only controversy is that Blago made the appointment after all the grandstanding pols told him not to. Let's get pass this and pick a new Governor. I'm not crazy about the Lt. Gov. waitiong in the wings.
 

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The only controversy is that Blago made the appointment after all the grandstanding pols told him not to. Let's get pass this and pick a new Governor. I'm not crazy about the Lt. Gov. waiting in the wings.
You see, that's exactly what I was talking about in my earlier post. You have a process established to replace the gov once he's removed, and the idea of sidestepping that and "picking" a new one because you don't like what would happen if the established process is followed seems perilous to me.
 

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Yes! Is it embarrassing, you bet. But the law is the law, as Jack has said.

What I find distasteful is Harry Reid yesterday on MTP interjecting himself into the selection process and commenting on whether the appointment would be "tainted". I'm willing to bet before this all happened he didn't even know how to pronounce Blago's name. I wish he would have qualified, or had been pressed to do so, his comment on taint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If established process is the key, then Blagojevich is the sitting governor and has the authority to appoint Burris. That is the process. No one has even implied that Burris was involved in anything illegal. Qquite the opposite, actually.

If Reid is really concerned about potential tainted processes, he should refuse to seat Al Franken until the possible irregularities with Minnesota vote recounting are addressed.
 

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If Reid is really concerned about potential tainted processes, he should refuse to seat Al Franken until the possible irregularities with Minnesota vote recounting are addressed.
That seems to me a more legitimate reason to refuse seating someone. Burris is not the result of a questionable and disputed election.
 

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I think it's completely ludicrous that someone like Blagojevich gets to appoint a US senator. However, the whole process seems to have followed Illinois state law, Burris meets the requirements for being a senator, there's no legal reason not to seat him. As far as I know you can be in jail and still be a senator.
 

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Putting Roland in the Senate is the same as putting Mike Madigan there. This'll be a hoot.
 

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apparently the Illinois Sec'y of State did not sign the certificate for Burris. On those grounds the Sargeant of the Senate (sp?) refused admission to Burris. The Senate seems on safe grounds there. The Illinois Sec'y of State I'm not sure how that will play out.
 

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"you have a republic if you can keep it".

If they don't seat him they are the ones that should be thrown out. The law is clear.

They do have the power to throw someone out after they seat them, but they would need grounds and I doubt that someone else doing something wrong would be grounds.
 

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apparently the Illinois Sec'y of State did not sign the certificate for Burris. On those grounds the Sargeant of the Senate (sp?) refused admission to Burris. The Senate seems on safe grounds there
Technically, it seems they are safe barring him in this fashion. An unbelievable display of rule-following by the senate! I guess Burris will have to sue the Ill. secretary of state to get his certification signed off on.

The more I read about Blagojevich, the more he seems like a complete ass. People in his own party hate him. I guess that's what happens when one party takes over an entire state, when there is no enemy the enemy becomes oneself.
 

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If they don't seat him they are the ones that should be thrown out. The law is clear.
Yes, the law is clear. An appointed Senator must provide documentation signed by his state's governor and secretary of state. Mr. Burris does not have this.

He's frequently said he has the "credentials" to be a US Senator. No, he doesn't. He has the qualifications, but his credentials, the document he must present to the Secretary of the Senate, are not complete.

He may sue to compel the Secretary of State to sign the form. He may be appointed by the next governor after Blagojavich is pushed out. There are options, but right now it is completely clear that the Senate has no obligation to seat him.

Mr. Burris' political career is long, and he is generally respected. If seated at this time, he most likely would not have the same bad reputation as, say, Jesse Jackson Jr., who was more involved in the original selection process.

What ticks me off is that Blagojavich probably chose a black man because people playing racial politics would push to have him seated based on his skin color, regardless of the nature of the appointment.
 
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