Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What's The Matter With Harry?

Harry Reid continues to say the Senate will not seat anybody appointed by Illinois Rod Blagojevich. But it is not that simple. But I'm not sure the Reid and Senate could refuse to seat Burris. The Consitution gives the Senate the sole power as "Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own members." Because this is an appointment and not an election, the first two parts do not apply - only Qualifications. And the Adam Clayton Powell case of 1969 seems to kill that idea. There the Supreme court said that the "Qualifications" mentioned in the Constitution are ONLY those qualifications found in the Consitution, such as age, citizenry, residency, etc. I guess the new Senator could take the oath and then be expelled by a 2/3 vote. The problem with all this is that Burris does not appear to have any taint of corruption. What reason would anyone have to say Burriss should not sit absent proof of his own corrupt activities?

Some argue that "qualifications" can include a judgment of whether the appointment was legal and valid. But the examples in the LA Times article to which I link regard elections, for which the Constituion give final judgment to the Senate. The appointment of Burris is not an election.

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