December 11, 2008

How to oust Blagojevich from office if he won't resign and the legislation won't impeach him.

There's this:
"I have the opportunity to go to our Illinois Supreme Court and ask them to declare our governor is unable to serve and put in our lieutenant governor as acting governor," [Illinois Attorney General Lisa] Madigan, a longtime Blagojevich foe who is considering a run for governor in 2010, told CNN.
What legal procedure is this exactly? I can see that the Illinois Constitution provides, in Article V, Section 6:
(b) If the Governor is unable to serve because of death, conviction on impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation or other disability, the office of Governor shall be filled by the officer next in line of succession for the remainder of the term or until the disability is removed.

(c) Whenever the Governor determines that he may be seriously impeded in the exercise of his powers, he shall so notify the Secretary of State and the officer next in line of succession. The latter shall thereafter become Acting Governor with the duties and powers of Governor. When the Governor is prepared to resume office, he shall do so by notifying the Secretary of State and the Acting Governor.

(d) The General Assembly by law shall specify by whom and by what procedures the ability of the Governor to serve or to resume office may be questioned and determined. The Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to review such a law and any such determination and, in the absence of such a law, shall make the determination under such rules as it may adopt.
Does this mean the AG can oust the Governor over the kinds of matters that would also be grounds for impeachment? Is his arrest an "other disability"? That seems to be Madigan's theory according the Chicago Tribune:
The Illinois Constitution is vague enough that she could argue the governor's corruption charges are enough to be considered a "disability" — a condition typically associated with physical or mental issues.

... Another portion of the Constitution opens the door to considering whether Blagojevich is "seriously impeded in the exercise of his powers." The argument again is that the taint of the allegations—that the governor sought to trade official state actions for personal gain—means he can't govern.
The "seriously impeded" language is plainly left to the Governor's own judgment about himself. So I think Madigan is limited to characterizing the ongoing prosecution as a "disability" -- and convincing the court that this is appropriate.

The Tribune continues: "Would Madigan go to court so her father, House Speaker Michael Madigan, can avoid a messy impeachment?" That makes the idea of end-running impeachment look quite a bit worse.

UPDATE: Madigan files the case.

ANOTHER UPDATE: On the oral argument to the state court.


rhhardin said...

Arrest makes him differently abled.

Joe M. said...

"The legislation won't impeach him."

knox said...

Forced secession of the idiot state of Illinois.

The Drill SGT said...

Does this mean the AG can oust the Governor over the kinds of matters that would also be grounds for impeachment? Is his arrest an "other disability"? That seems to be Madigan's theory according the Chicago Tribune:

Since the law names impeachment, and doesn't even mention conviction, I think that the other refers to some sort of physical or mental incapcity. Though I guess one could argue incarceration would count.

I dont think the court will consider that a charge, without conviction voids his right to be considered innocent till proven guilty.

Original George said...

He was let out after posting a $4,500 bond.

If it had been $4,500,000, he'd still be in jail, then he really wouldn't be able to govern.

What's the deal with such a trivial amount of money to be put up? The man was on a crime spree!

DenisEugeneSullivan said...


My understanding is that Ms. Madigan was or wanted to be considered for President-elect Obama's former US Senate seat. So, is this an extortion; give me the job or I go to court to have you removed?

I also think that this is a good example of the Ghost of Christmas Future with the development of family political dynasties.

TosaGuy said...

Perhaps we should place Illinois in political "Chapter 13 bankruptcy" and force all existing political officeholders to resign and give the state a chance to start over without all any of the existing political baggage and corruption.

Lem said...

Leave the governor alone.

Its not illegal to have a wish, to have a fantasy.

As far as I can tell no money changed hands.

Lem said...

strike that..

Leave the fucking governor alone ;)

EDH said...

corruption charges are enough to be considered a "disability."

Attempting humor, I was going to suggest that bad hair could be a disability, and ask whether that's a "rug" on Blagojevich's head.

Then I saw this in the Chicago Sun Times.

Is Blago's hair a sign of sickness?.

DIAGNOSING BLAGOJEVICH | Gov's chestnut mane might be sign of narcissistic personality disorder, psychologists say

December 11, 2008


It's a head of hair that a man 20 years his junior would envy -- a chestnut helmet that brazenly mocks Father Time and screams "healthy!"

Or does it?

Gov. Blagojevich's glossy locks -- perfectly sculpted in rain or snow -- may be an indication of a sickness beneath his scalp, said one local psychologist.

"It's all part of managing his image, managing his image of being without a blemish, without a flaw," said Scott Ambers, who has practiced clinical psychology in the city for more than two decades.

Several psychologists interviewed one day after the governor's arrest agreed that he might be suffering from an affliction known as narcissistic personality disorder.

"This grandiose sense of self . . . doesn't carry the implication that [Blagojevich] is a raving lunatic, crazy and out of touch with reality, but it does suggest he has a really overinflated view of his own importance," Ambers said.

Those who bandied the term "delusions of grandeur" when talking about Blagojevich have missed the mark, Ambers said.

"I have a patient who is firmly convinced the FBI, the CIA and [the Department of] Homeland Security are following her . . . as she drives on the expressway," Ambers said. "It's all delusional."

Perhaps Blagojevich suffers from the opposite problem?

"I think he felt a certain kind of immunity," Ambers said. "It's part of the grandiosity -- 'They are not going to be able to punish me because I'm above the law, I'm smarter, I will outfox them.' "


garage mahal said...

It won't be long when America wakes up and will be begging for the return of the party of Karl Rove, Tom Delay and Duke Cunningham. You just wait!

JohnAnnArbor said...

"I have a patient who is firmly convinced the FBI, the CIA and [the Department of] Homeland Security are following her . . . as she drives on the expressway," Ambers said. "It's all delusional."

That sounds like a person that should be locked up, not driving on the expressway.

John Stodder said...

Go to court to toss out a governor just because he's incredibly unpopular? I don't know. The people elected him to a fixed term. If the Legislature wants to impeach him that's one thing. If he wants to resign or temporarily step aside, that's okay too. What Madigan -- another 'here comes trouble' pol from what I can tell -- wants to do seems opportunistic and a bad precedent.

It's the flip side of the Carolyn Kennedy/Arnold Schwarzenegger school of celebrity politics. Can we declare our elected officials are unfit to serve due to low approval ratings and bad press?

The right thing to do is to send Barry Goldwater, John Rhodes and Hugh Scott over to the governor's mansion...

gemma said...

Since when do any silly parts of the constitution...state, federal whatever.....matter? If the press is for you .... who can be against you and vice pun intended.

Michael in IL said...

If they need help getting a resignation they need to call in the big guns:

veni vidi vici said...

rhhardin, Blago is suffering from "arrested development".

John Lynch said...

No, it's the legislature's job. If they won't do it, the voters can get rid of them both.

reader_iam said...

Given that Blagojevich's actions reek of and reflect an entitled sense of non-accountability, it strikes me as a very bad plan to remove him via any method that permits others within that culture to duck accountability. I'm with Stodder: Use #1) the impeachment process or #2) the voting process. The appropriate, relevant judicial branch process (#3) already has its wheels in motion via the criminal justice system.

I'm not for door #4. Can someone provide me with some compelling grounds for reconsidering that?

Bill said...

How about Madigan just, you know, rounds up a few of her boys and makes Blago an 'offer he can't refuse'? "That's the Chicago way!"

Bumsurf said...

Suggestion: Take a 3 mile walk on the Navy Pier (only as option #6). Candidate #5 and transition official # 6 should accompany him.

in Springpatch said...

Denis -
That is completely incorrect. Lisa Madigan wants to be governor of Illinois NOT the senator from Illinois. She has said that if Blago nominated her she would not go to the senate (and this was before this week). He floated her name in hopes that he could eliminate a rival in the next governors election in 2010.

peter hoh said...

Does Blago have too much dirt on the legislators?

AJ Lynch said...

Jeez politics really is a family business in Illinois.

Jesse Jr and Dad. Dad is not technically a pol I know but he is.

The governor's wife's father (Mr. Mell) and her sister are in the state legislature.

Madigan is AG and her father is in the state legislature.

Obama was senator and his wife had cushy non-profit job that took politcial connections.

Did I leave anyone out? Oh yeah all the Daleys and Emil Jones and their kids etc.

PatCA said...

You could also try the Jimmy Hoffa treatment.

bearbee said...

Chicago Boyz has a pic of Blago standing next to this poster.

Uncanny resemblance.

Ha, ha.

Issob Morocco said...

Blago is going nowhere. As long as he is Governor, he gets free legal help. If Lisa (I want to be Governor so bad I act like Veruca Salt) Madigan goes to the Illinois Supreme Court, Blago will go to Federal Court. Even if an expedited case, you are talking 6 months to work itself out and her argument is weak at best on disability. What is the disability? He is disliked by many? That is why we hold elections.

The name of Jimmy DeLeo, State Fixer from Blago's home district, will somehow find a way into the mix soon. Nothing happens without Jimmy okaying it. Blago knows a lot on a lot of people. That is known as personal insurance in Illinois politics. Sort a mutual assured destruction plan. You take me down, I will take so and so down and the dominos fall as the info comes out.

If it goes to impeachment, too much will have to be testified on and will make all Illinois politicians queasy. Rule that out.

So expect to hear a lot of caterwauling from the One and his minions over the next month pleading and posturing for him to go, as Blago stinks up the coronation in January. But for now that is all Blago can do, stay in office. If he leaves, he loses the only leverage he has. Kind of a like cornered Beatle, er beast.

Christmas Cheers!

Modern Otter said...

if the Governor is unable to serve because of death, conviction on impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation or other disability...

How would a ejusdem generis analysis of this phrase go? I'm thinking the listed criteria are all too cut & dry ("he's dead," "he's only 22 years old," "he's been impeached and convicted") to permit pulling things like "he's an idiot" or "he's a crook" into the"other disability" catch-all.