January 6, 2009

Burris blocked!

Just now.

That's it?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday that Burris would not be permitted to take his seat because Burris "has not been certified by the state of Illinois," a reference to incomplete paperwork that only touches on the dispute. Senate Democrats maintain that Burris' appointment is tainted because of the charges against Blagojevich.
No explanation of the constitutional basis for the claim of power. I suspect the reason is that the constitutional argument is so weak. Burris was appointed pursuant to the processes that exist in state law.

ADDED: I had to cut this post short because I had a Bloggingheads recording scheduled. (It's not up yet, but we talked about Burris.) Anyway, let me note that I wrote about the constitutional question in some depth last Thursday. In that discussion, the assumption was that the Senate would go through some procedure — hearings, debate, a vote. But there was none of that, just a raw exercise of power. Ironically, Blagojevich is accused of abusing his power. Are we having an abuse of power contest?

80 comments:

Simon said...

Are we going to have a pool on how long it takes for Burris v. U.S. Senate to be filed?

1jpb said...

This is good fun, that both sides of the isle should appreciate.

Video?

siyeh pass said...

This 'certification' came up on the news, this morning, regarding Franken. Apparently, MN has a week to get it to him, was my understanding (also giving Coleman 7 days to fight it). It came across as sounding like an actual document.

former law student said...

I blame the Illinois legislature for not impeaching him. As long as Blago is in office, he possesses all the powers of his office. He can still sign or veto bills, etc.

I am amazed however, at the political power of the coach/founder of the Jesse White Tumblers. The SoS's claim to fame was training ghetto youth to flip through the air. Oh well. Former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert started as a high school football coach.

Joe said...

Yet Reid, or his cronies, proposed allowing Franken to be sworn in even though Minnesota state law doesn't allow certification for at least a week, longer if court cases about it are pending.

Reid is a phony with no respect for the law or the constitution. He should be impeached (I'm quite serious.)

Henry Buck said...

From what I understand, it is a rule of the Senate, not a requirement of Illinois law, that Reid is hiding behind. If the Illinois puts the nominating power in the hands of the Governor, how can a Senate rule require the co-approval of the Illinois Secretary of State (by requiring the Secretary's signature on the Senator's credentials)?

Original Mike said...

This is good fun, that both sides of the isle should appreciate.

"Ginger, make the popcorn."

john said...

Now here is something interesting. The senate sergeant of arms, Terrnce Gainer, is also from Cook County. Obviously, he would not put up with any shit. He can be counted on to keep Burris out (and thus keep the Senate replete with pink men).

Were weapons drawn? Democrats have a lot of experience with uppity blacks.

(It would be funny to see both Franken and Burris walk down that aisle together. Timing is bad for that, however.)

Zeb Quinn said...

I blame the Illinois legislature for not impeaching him.

Didn't US Attorney Fitzgerald ask them to hold off on that and otherwise refuse to cooperate with them because of possibly compromising his investigation and prosecution?

Simon said...

1jpb said...
"This is good fun, that both sides of the isle should appreciate."

Aisle. An isle is an island. Sorry, it's a common malapropism that bugs me.

And video is on cspan 2 right now.

Original Mike said...

No Simon, the Senate is preparing to vote Burris off the isle.

former law student said...

Didn't US Attorney Fitzgerald ask them to hold off on that

No.

and otherwise refuse to cooperate with them

Yes and no. Fitzgerald wanted to limit the information he shared with the House committee, to avoid compromising his criminal investigation.

Sloanasaurus said...

No explanation of the constitutional basis for the claim of power. I suspect the reason is that the constitutional argument is so weak. Burris was appointed pursuant to the processes that exist in state law.

I don't know how you can say this. The Constitution explicitly says that "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members."

Its reasonable to say that Burris' appointment is no different than an election or Return. Therefore, under this section the Senate has a constitutional right to judge his appointment (i.e. return or election) invalid.

traditionalguy said...

What law allows the Senate DEM majority to refuse this new senator from Illinois? There is no such law or precedent. This act exposes the very heart of the corruption now at work in the USA Government busily crafting a cover up.

Simon said...

Joe said...
"[Senator] Reid ... should be impeached (I'm quite serious.)"

You're quite serious that a Senator be impeached? Are you aware that the impeachment power extends only to civil officers of the United States, that members of Congress are not civil officers of the United States (indeed, are forbidden from being so while in office), and that the only time anyone has even tried to impeach a Senator - the outlier case - was William Blount in 1797, brought to us by the same House of Representatives that brought us the Alien and Sedition Acts? What's your argument that a Senator falls within the terms of the impeachment clause?

Harry Reid may well be a disgrace to the Senate and his country - but he's a problem for the voters of Nevada to deal with.

bearbee said...

If Reid is so concerned about legalities he ought to concentrate on the senate and begin draining that swamp of all its corruption and misbehavior.

The stench!

AJ Lynch said...

John said:

"....and thus keep the Senate replete with pink men)."

Good one LOL. But it must be killing Erica Jong or whoever was that dumb chick in Althouse's earlier post.

Simon said...

Sloanasaurus said...
"I don't know how you can say this. The Constitution explicitly says that 'Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members. Its reasonable to say that Burris' appointment is no different than an election or Return."

No it isn't. An election is not an appointment, and neither I nor Riddick is aware of a precedent of it ever being treated as one. The only case that I can find that comes close is from 1893, when the Senate refused to seat three Senators who had been appointed without authority by their states' governors; the Senate did not there judge the appointment, it judged the election that should have taken place but had not.

Mark O said...

Could someone be so kind as to name the person the Senate Democrats want to fill the seat in the place of Burris? What's the point? If Burris was not involved in the pay for play scheme, why can he not be seated? Since when did the Senate have the power to refuse to seat an appointment simply because the Senate did not approve of the sitting governor who made the appointment?

The governor has the power to make the appointment. If the Senate Democrats are correct, this could be a wild precedent.

Original Mike said...

If Burris was not involved in the pay for play scheme, why can he not be seated?

Yeah, I don't get this, either. Can anybody explain why Reid et al. are taking this stance?

1jpb said...

Simon,

Thanks, I did actually know the difference. But, because of haste and diverted attention getting it right is hit-or-miss.

[Similarly, in the earlier CIA post I wrote a comment with the word 'their,' then a few words later I wrote 'there' even though I meant to use 'their' again. Thanks to dumb luck I noticed that mistake before hitting the publish button.]

Simon said...

Henry Buck said...
"From what I understand, it is a rule of the Senate, not a requirement of Illinois law, that Reid is hiding behind. If the Illinois puts the nominating power in the hands of the Governor, how can a Senate rule require the co-approval of the Illinois Secretary of State (by requiring the Secretary's signature on the Senator's credentials)?"

It's a requirement of Illinois law that the Secretary of State seal the appointment, see 15 Ill. Comp. Stat. 305/5. The interesting question is whether the SecState has discretion to refuse and what that means.

TitusDoeADeerAFemaleDeer said...

I would of appointed Jesse Jackson Jr. He is hot. Would you look at him people. He has a beautiful face and since he had the operation his body looks pretty fierce too.

His wife is white hot too.

Bender said...

The power to judge is not the power to veto, which is what Reid, et al. are thuggishly, unlawfully, and unconstitutionally attempting to do.

Simon said...

Original Mike said...
"Can anybody explain why Reid et al. are taking this stance?"

They're embarassed and afraid of the situation in Illinois, they think this is the fastest way to sweep it under the mat, and they think they'll get away with it. Explaining why is easy; the tougher question is quo warranto?

Original Mike said...

What would be the point of requiring the Sec. of State to sign off, but then not giving him (her?) the discretion to refuse?

TitusDoeADeerAFemaleDeer said...

Jesse Jackson Jr. for senator!

I am watching all of the swearing in now on Cspan. Would you look at all those commie democrats?

Original Mike said...

...they think this is the fastest way to sweep it under the mat...

Seems to me this is the path assured to keep it in the spotlight the longest.

TitusDoeADeerAFemaleDeer said...

I wish Jesse Jackson Jr. would pull a Larry Craig and I was the recepient on the other side of the stall. That would be totally hot.

Not at an airport bathroom though. I would prefer somewhere more private and out of the way with nice foliage and fawcetts and towel service.

heywoot said...

Both sides of the "isle". At least you truly understand that Congress is a world unto itself.

bearbee said...

Could someone be so kind as to name the person the Senate Democrats want to fill the seat in the place of Burris?

Reid wants either Tammy Duckworth or Lisa Madigan.

Duckworth sounds interesting.

Sloanasaurus said...

The power to judge is not the power to veto, which is what Reid, et al. are thuggishly, unlawfully, and unconstitutionally attempting to do.

I can see why Reid wants to get rid of Burris. Burris will be a constant reminder of corrupt Chicago politics which leads straight to Obama. Burris will stain the whole democratic party and as part of the opposition, I will make sure to keep bringing it up.

heywoot said...

I am beginning to think that the Titus here is a phony - "would of", "fawcetts", "hastle" - I thought the original Titus knew English.

MayBee said...

I blame the Illinois legislature for not impeaching him.

I blame the Illinois legislature for not voting for a special election.

Blago should pull Burris's nomination and nominate Tammy Duckworth. That would make things fun.

rhhardin said...

No explanation of the constitutional basis for the claim of power.

This is not a normal reaction.

MayBee said...

Maybe after nominating Duckworth, Blagojevich could nominate a new Senator every other day or so. All people Obama wants.
Maybe throw in Michelle Obama for fun.

TitusDoeADeerAFemaleDeer said...

No my writing skills have always been poor and have been pointed out by Althouse and Palladian and many others through the years.

It is because my mind is so sharp and I type so fast that sometimes the words don't come out right.

And I have always thought Jesse Jackson is hot, especially since he lost the weight.

I would like to see a calendar of hot shirtless people in the house/senate. The only ones I can think of wanting to see our Kendall Meeks, Patrick Murphy, Jesse Jackson Jr., that hot democrat cop from Indiana, and Heath Shuler. Oh and Patrick Mchenry just for laughs.

I don't know if they could get 12 to fill up the calendar though.

TitusDoeADeerAFemaleDeer said...

Patrick McHenry would be February and he would have a bow and arrow and a little Cupid hat on while pretending to shoot the arrow and lifting his left leg up in a back attitude.
There would be a huge heart backdrop behind him. It would be delicious.

Palladian said...

"I am beginning to think that the Titus here is a phony - "would of", "fawcetts", "hastle" - I thought the original Titus knew English."

As titus says, he's always been an idiot, though he's improved his capitalization and punctuation skills since his early comments.

Be wary if someone posting under the name "titus" starts writing consistently interesting, well-written comments. You'll know it's a phony in that case.

Lem said...

I can see why Reid wants to get rid of Burris.

Isn’t obvious that Reid is using Obama as cover against Burris?

Obama is not president yet and he is already hurting blacks ;)

Henry Buck said...

If under Illinois law the Secretary of State must seal the appointment but hasn't done so, why hasn't Burris brought a mandamus action in Illinois court? I doubt that the seal is anything other than a ministerial act.

Leland said...

Sloanasaurus, your comment about what the US Constitution explicitly says is not just taken out of context, but out of the wrong section. Read ArtIsec3 paragraph 2 regarding vacancies, which was then superceded by the 17th Amendment, which explicitly states: When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

As for Senator Reed, I think the move is foolish, and the person looking like an elder and wise statesman is Burris. Honestly, this is somewhat a crisis when a legitimate Senator is refused to be recognized without proper preceedings for expulsion. Essentially, it gives the power to Senator Reed to not recognize a states representation. But if Burris credential does require a seal from the Illinois SecState, then bad for him, and Senator Reed has some cover.

Your Correspondent said...

It's hard to be too keen on Duckworth. She has yet to do anything in the politcal arena except to get lots of face time in the media.
She hasn't won an election, despite enormous effort and money being poured into the campaigns.
Her claim to fame isn't even any prior accomplishment apart from being an Army chopper pilot who got wounded.
I don't dismiss that, or her military serice.
But what she's been sold as is nothing more than a military vet who opposes Bush. Opposing Bush is all well and good, but she didn't offer anything beyond that.
She was part of what the Democratic Party expected to be a wave of disaffected vets helping the party back into power by using their cred as vets to knock down the despised commander-in-chief.
Her position in the Illinois government is a placeholder bureaucrat billet until she can finally get elected to something.
Apparently, appointment would suffice.
As for accepting the Blagojevich appointment, it seems now that only Roland Burris was clueless, and egotistical enough, to accept the tainted touch.
And please, folks, don't wish for Lisa Madigan. She's another Daley operative, eyebrow deep in the same mess that excreted Blagojevich and the rest.
If you need convincing, go back and look at her attempt to have Blagojevich yanked via Illinois Supreme Court fiat: if you think the Burris block isn't very legal, that filing by Madigan was many times worse, and many times scarier.
She can stay in the AG office as far as we're concerned, where she can't do the harm she might if she got elevated.

Meade said...

This constitutional crisis would not be happening if the Dems had just nominated Hillary.

But I don't blame Baracko. It isn't his fault so many Dems fixated on his skin color, nominating an unqualified candidate in an attempt to assuage the guilt of their unexamined covert racial prejudices.

I blame Bill Clinton.

bearbee said...

14 days and counting....

Heh, heh, heh...

Well at least we have entertainment as we drown in debt.

Der Hahn said...

They're embarassed and afraid of the situation in Illinois, they think this is the fastest way to sweep it under the mat...

Seems to me it would have been faster to simply say there's no obvious taint on Burris and give him the seat.

But then I don't think I'd suggest that a *white* female Iraq war veteran who couldn't win a Congressional race against a filthy-rich Republican personal injury trial lawyer would be a better choice for the seat because she'd be more likely to win the state-wide race in 2010 than a *black* man who has already won two statewide elections. (yes I know Burris wasn't one of the Fab Five but why look a gift horse in the mouth?)

Reid is the best Majority Leader the Republicans ever had.

heywoot said...

Well alrighty then - my mistake.

Simon said...

Henry Buck said...
"If under Illinois law the Secretary of State must seal the appointment but hasn't done so, why hasn't Burris brought a mandamus action in Illinois court? I doubt that the seal is anything other than a ministerial act."

I don't know what Illinois law says about ripeness, still less anything about Burris' litigation strategy, but I would think that such an action might have been considered unripe until this afternoon. Unless it was clear that the Senate was not going to seat him and the Secretary of State's seal would make the difference, it wouldn't have affected Burris' rights to compel the secretary to seal the certification. As it happens, I think a mandamus action was and is moot, because the Senate made clear that their reasons for seating him have nothing to do with the missing seal. Burris' next step, unless he's a total clot, is the Adam Clayton Powell route: litigate it and screw the bastards to the wall.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sloanasaurus said..."No explanation of the constitutional basis for the claim of power. I suspect the reason is that the constitutional argument is so weak. Burris was appointed pursuant to the processes that exist in state law. I don't know how you can say this. The Constitution explicitly says that "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members." Its reasonable to say that Burris' appointment is no different than an election or Return. Therefore, under this section the Senate has a constitutional right to judge his appointment (i.e. return or election) invalid."

I blogged about this in another post, but they are purporting to judge the results of an election/appointment when the Governor has the appointment power and the Governor appointed Burris. They've added on this other standard, that they decide whether the Governor is good enough, and they've gone through no process whatsoever to arrive at this conclusion. They aren't clearly stating why they are doing it, and they haven't taken a vote.

Ann Althouse said...

As for impeaching a Senator -- the process is expulsion. It's not a 2-step process where the House is involved. It just takes a 2/3 vote in the Senate.

Ann Althouse said...

heywoot said..."I am beginning to think that the Titus here is a phony - "would of", "fawcetts", "hastle" - I thought the original Titus knew English"

Titus always writes "would of" even though he's been corrected more than once. I think he does it on purpose to tweak us.

***

I didn't realize Jesse Jackson Jr. had had bariatric surgery. Thanks for the heads up on that. I was just looking at his photos and wondering why he'd gotten sooooo much better looking.

garage mahal said...

BARAK HUSEIN OBMA HAS NOT AVEN BEN SWORN IN YAT AND H3 HAS LIEK WUT 500 SCANDALS ALRAADY?!??!??? OMG LOL HAY ANN R U HAEV ANY REGRATS Y3T????!??!!!!?!???????!!!!??!??!!!!!? OMG HOW SI THES R3LATIONSHIP TURNNG OUT?!!?!!!?! WTF LOL HAHA THES SI CHANGE W3 CAN BLEIVE IN???!!???!!?!!!!!?? WTF LOL OMG WTF

Meade said...

Garage, my friend, I don't want to embarrass you anymore than you already should be embarrassed, but you are making a fool of yourself, buddy... ON. THE. INTER. NET.

Here, let me help you wipe off whatever that is oozing off your chin and, please, put those stupid pants back on. You'll catch frostbite.

Now shhhhhhh... would you like to have a few of my tags? No really--I don't even want them.

Issob Morocco said...

Simon,

"Isle" be the first to thank you correcting that misspelling. It catches my in my craw as well.

I also am greatly enjoying your commentary. Thanks!

nrn312 said...

The SoS's claim to fame was training ghetto youth to flip through the air.

Jesse White is an excellent administrator. The tumbling team was just an offshoot of the boy scout troop he ran, which happened to be the largest in the state. What trees do you plant?

nrn312 said...

And please, folks, don't wish for Lisa Madigan. She's another Daley operative

Her father, who happens to be the Speaker of the Illinois House, would find that claim amusing.

nrn312 said...

Reid is the best Majority Leader the Republicans ever had.

Kind of like Monty Python's Black Knight claiming that a quadruple amputation was "only a flesh wound."

garage mahal said...

Meade I'm just glad we're friends and that you care.

SteveR said...

Are we having an abuse of power contest?

Well clearly, Reid (and Pelosi in her realm on other matters) does not care. They have power, recently enhanced, and will do what they want.

TheRadicalModerate said...

Seems like good strategy to me. Since Harry et al. don't have the law on their side, the best they can do is delay and hope that the facts on the ground change. Claiming that it's all Illinois' fault sounds like a fine way to muddy the waters and--best case--chew up a lot of time going up the Illinois legal food chain. Once that's done, Harry can make his constitutional claims and we can repeat the whole dog-and-pony show for the feds.

Here's a question: If Blago were impeached and convicted before Burris was seated, would the governor's successor have the authority to rescind the appointment and choose his own guy?

dick said...

Actually Tammy Duckworth is about as white as Obama is. Her mother is Thai, which makes her Oriental. She is therefore an Oriental version of a Mullato.

Henry Buck said...

RadMod -

If the Secretary of State's signature is merely a ministerial act, then under Marbury v. Madison Burris is entitled to the office, even if Blago is impeached and the Secretary of State still refuses to sign.

Burris must be careful, though, to bring a lawsuit in the right court!

Cedarford said...

former law student said...
I blame the Illinois legislature for not impeaching him. As long as Blago is in office, he possesses all the powers of his office. He can still sign or veto bills, etc.


Hard to impeach when the ambitious prosecutor wants another 3 months with him in control of each piece of "evidence" while he works on a "legal indictment". Given his behavior in the Plame matter, I would not take Fitzpatrick at his word about "seeking the truth out". (He knew who the leaker was and was only out to try and snare reporters and officials in "lies"), Nor his word about who he leaked he had the goods on to indict (Libby, Rove).

Hard to impeach when neither the Legislature nor the presumed defendents, including Blagojevich, have access to the evidence.

***************
Joe - Reid is a phony with no respect for the law or the constitution. He should be impeached (I'm quite serious.)

You don't know the law or the Constitution. Federal legislators cannot be impeached. Only censured or expelled by the body. Impeachment only applies to officials of the Executive and Judiciary.

*******************
Original Mike said...
What would be the point of requiring the Sec. of State to sign off, but then not giving him (her?) the discretion to refuse?


Because that would make the Governor captive to the whim of the Secretary of State on any ececutive act the Governor does. If the power is constrained by law, good...but not unlimited discretion...as in:
"Well, I'll sign off on the 14 other Blago appointments this month but I chose not to sign off on Burris, the 2009 budget until it reverses 3 line item vetos "my people" don't like, and that guy from Peoria I don't like.."
*************
Your Correspondent - Nice read on the media and Nancy Pelosi's little Darling, Tammy Duckworth.

Edmund said...

No explanation of the constitutional basis for the claim of power. I suspect the reason is that the constitutional argument is so weak.

Hey, they don't care about the Constitution if it gets in the way of what they want to do. They plan on confirming Hilary Clinton despite the Emoluments clause.

And passing a bill to reduce the SoS's pay to what it was before she was elected is not a way around the plain language of the Constitution. What they should do is amend the Constitution to allow such appointments to any office that requires Senate confirmation.

BTW - I think Hilary should be SoS. Obama won the election and he should have the Cabinet he wants if the Senate approves. It's just that the Emoluments clause is in the way in this case.

MadisonMan said...

This is the kind of commentary thread that I find vastly amusing and informative, so I thank you all.

My own 2 cents is that Gov. B is laughing his ass off.

MadisonMan said...

Although come to think of it, making the Senate look laughable is not particularly hard.

Original Mike said...

My point, Cedarford, is if he's compelled to sign, then it's an unnecessary step. Do away with it.

Richard said...

You mention a constitution. Whats that? Constitutions don't mean a lot in one party towns. I mean, they're pretty to read and to reference, but they're just not all that important.

Joe said...

You don't know the law or the Constitution.

I'm not an expert, but well read in that area. I misspoke while quickly typing an entry. Reid can be expelled. (I hasten to point out that whether a senator can be impeached isn't a settled constitutional question as has been asserted, even though we assume "Civil Officers" does not include members of the legislature.)

Regardless, the US Senate are a bunch of cowards who repeatedly abrogate their responsibilities.

3D said...

Reasonable decision with the perspective of his age.

Meade said...

Garage: Of course I care, man. I'm a Compassionate Conservative Liberal with a Mean Edge.

Weird, huh?

I contain multitudes, dude.

BJM said...

Perfect.

All the 111th Congressional 3-ring circus needs to complete their Bozo image is a clown car.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yeah, I don't get this, either. Can anybody explain why Reid et al. are taking this stance?

Because they know that a black politician is not as likely to win in a Statewide election. The assembly and representative districts have been finely gerrymandered so that a black politician or a politician of the preferred political party is guaranteed election based on the ethnic or racial demographics of the local district.

On the other hand....the rest of the State, outside of Chicago and the main urban area is not so likely to elect a black politician, especially ones that come with the taint of the Chicago machine or in the case of Jessie Jackson Jr. tainted by his own family.

The Dems do not want to lose a Senate seat, most likely to happen with Burris, to the Republicans because their margin for majority in the Senate is so small. Look at the lengths they are going to in the Franken situation to literally steal that seat.

This is why Reid has been pulling for a non-black candidate. Hoping to get an incumbent in the seat that would have a wider appeal to the rest of the State. Sheer political greed and manipulation.

Great isn't it? I love it when the light of day gets shone on the slime that we call our political leaders. :-D

Simon said...

Joe said...
"I hasten to point out that whether a senator can be impeached isn't a settled constitutional question as has been asserted, even though we assume 'Civil Officers' does not include members of the legislature."

It's settled unless we disregarding either Art. II § 4's limit on who may be impeached or Art. II § 2's vesting in the President of the power to appoint officers of the United States and Art. I § 6's incompatibility clause. The Blount case is a singular outlying anomaly; the only other support that I can think of for the position would be the 1792 Succession Act, and I've said plenty about that already.

dick said...

But Burris has already been elected the state AG 15 years ago. Why then should his being black affect that.

traditionalguy said...

I suspect Sen. Reid, as Ann A. quickly spotted, is simply showing off his Power in DC as the SENATE BOSS HOGG. So who is he showing off to? His only real competitor to Power in DC is coming into town at High Noon by the train from Illinois. But look who now effectively controls the Illinois Senate seat appointment Mr. President. So the Obamanites will have to horse trade some Emergency Stimulus Earmarks to the SENATE BOSS HOGG's liking. It's still Pay to Play just moving on up from the State level.

Big Mike said...

Apparently Reid, et. al. see a benefit to the Republican party if Burris duly sworn in. I'll be darned if I can see why -- he stands for reelection in two years and Obama, with Dickie Daley's help, could see to it that he lost in the primary if they didn't much like how he did as a senator.

Tammy Duckworth is even less qualified to be a senator than Caroline Kennedy, but MN just elected -- or did the DFL steal the seat? -- a person who is majestically unqualified for any office and a tax cheat besides, so apparently you can be a senator with no obvious qualifications for the office whatsoever.

Orion said...

Yeah, I don't get this, either. Can anybody explain why Reid et al. are taking this stance?

The mathematics of the chamber favor the Republicans for the next few elections. More Democrats than Republicans will risk losing their seats in 2010, 2012, and probably 2014. The party in power in the White House almost always loses seats as "weak" congresscritters who swept in with the tide ground when the President isn't on the ballot. So Reid wants the strongest incumbents possibly going into the next election.

Big Mike said...

Interesting analysis, Orion, but I say again that Reid and Obama can see to it that Burris steps aside gracefully or gets beaten in the primary if they don't want him on the ticket in 2010. Given that the Daley machine will still be in charge of Chicago it won't be hard to arrange. If Reid wants the strongest incumbents possible then he'd better consider announcing his own retirement because he's pretty weak himself.

traditionalguy said...

Rating of law schools is usually a rating of the reputation of the schools graduates in a regional area. Its a lot like college football polls. So in truth the graduates from each school in using their inherent brain power and keeping high Ethics levels in their later legal careers causes this rating as much as any teaching done by Professors at the School. But you can't argue that U of W at Madison's Professor Althouse is not an extremely smart and a highly skilled communicator who must inspire excellence in her students. She was also correct in her comments about the legal authority of Senator Burris to be the Senator from Illinois.