"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." -- JP Curran, 1790

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Guess what? Blagojevich is right!

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is accused of possiblly one of the most heinous of offenses in our political discourse: selling a Senate seat. If these allegations prove true, then he deserves to do jail time in my humble opinion. However, with his announcement today of his appointment of former Illinois AG Ron Burris to Pres-elect Obama's vacant senate seat, we once again see the Constitution threatened. No sooner than the embattled governor made the appointment, we heard that Sen. Reid and the raucus caucus of Democrats claim that they will not seat this man. Then we hear Rep. Bobby Bush (D-IL) make claims of racism against the Democratic party immediately after that!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens in a lawless, pure democracy. Only current public sentiment, which is easily ignited by the mainstream press, gets any attention. Sen. Reid doesn't want his party even further tainted by scandals, as it has since it took power in 2006, and he'll trample on the Constitution to save his behind.

Opinions don't matter; the law does.

From our own US Constitution, Amendment 17 (which I have called to be repealed as it takes away powers from state legislatures to elect Senators):

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

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.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

That's simple enough. If there is a vacancy, it's up to the state to choose a successor. The legislature of that state has the authority unless they give that power to the chief executive (governor) of the state.

Illinois's Own Law on the Subject of Senate Vacancies:

(10 ILCS 5/25‑8) (from Ch. 46, par. 25‑8)
Sec. 25‑8. When a vacancy shall occur in the office of United States Senator from this state, the Governor shall make temporary appointment to fill such vacancy until the next election of representatives in Congress, at which time such vacancy shall be filled by election, and the senator so elected shall take office as soon thereafter as he shall receive his certificate of election.
(Source: Laws 1943, vol. 2, p. 1.)

Game over. Welcome Sen. Burris to the Congress. I don't like Blagojevich anymore than the next guy, but if the state of Illinois didn't like it, they should have impeached him immediately BEFORE he made an appointment. It's a moot point now, anyway. Maybe the rest of Illinois will come out in force in 2010 and get rid of some of their corrupt Democrats. Maybe they'll change their election laws to grant power to the legislature to appoint Senators to vacant seats. They can't do so after the fact, no ex post facto laws around here, thank you very much!

I really would like to see how far down his throat Sen. Reid will stick his own foot. It's just a curious thing for me personally. However, the danger is actually pretty great. As we throw out the Constitution by appointing members of the legislature who are ineligible for cabinet posts, we may also throw it out by allowing public opinion to override it once again by negating a sitting governor's right to appoint a Senator. Sphere: Related Content

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