Monday, January 12, 2009

Harry Reid Constitutional Update #5

UPDATE #5 (and hopefully the last)

Apparently Harry Reid has given up on his fight against the constitution and the Senate is going to seat Roland Burris. Full story here. This is an amazing development if, and it's a big if, you ever took Harry's "fight to the death" rhetoric seriously. Even the funsters at DailyKos have been taking their shots at Harry. Hopefully he will have a long tenure as leader of the Senate Democrats.

Also, I find the outcome comforting. For all the twists and turns and out and out criminality, it looks like the rule of law will prevail, both in seating Burris, and in removing Blagojevich in the constitutionally accepted manner of impeachment and trial in the state senate.


Reuters is mindlessly parroting Harry Reid's assertion that he has the sole authority on whether or not to seat Roland Burris, Blago's pick for Illinois Senator. Read this quote:

Under the Constitution, Reid said, "We determine who sits in the Senate. And the House (of Representatives) determines who sits in the House. So there's clearly legal authority for us to do whatever we want to do. This goes back for generations."
As I posted earlier, this is so much rubbish and is settled case law at that. This is just further evidence of why the Democrat run Senate and House can't break 20% approval ratings. Clear legal authority to do what we want to do? So much for the constitution, so much for elections for that matter, why doesn't Harry just pick all the senators himself?


As expected today, the Secretary of the Senate refused to seat Roland Burris because "his credentials were not in order." Meanwhile Governor Blagojevich has called a special election to fill the vacated House seat of Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. Is he governor or not? The Democrats only have themselves to blame for neither impeaching Blago immediately nor passing legislation to remove his power to fill the senate vacancy. From the Chicago CBS affiliate story:

Roosevelt University policy studies professor Paul Green said there is no reason why Burris should not be seated."One doesn't know what's going on, because legally, (Burris is) absolutely correct, and there should not be any debate; there should not be any discussion. Secretary of State White really has no function in this; the statute is clear. The governor makes the selection," Green said. "I don't know how you bar somebody from a sovereign state who was legally appointed not to go to the U.S. Senate – which, by the way, is not known for being the home of many vestal virgins – and all of a sudden you have everyone shocked, outraged by this process."



Rumor has it that Senate Democrats are seeing the writing on the wall and preparing themselves to seat Roland Burris. More here.


As legal analysts come around to my position, this from Greta Van Susteren this evening:
I wish the President-elect and Harry Reid would just say, we didn't have time to read the seventeenth amendment to the constitution.

I guess it's just asking too much for lawmakers to be versed at all in the consitution. Especially former consitutional law perfessers.

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