Friday, January 09, 2009

Blago Impeached, no mandamus

The Illinois House voted all but unanimously (one lone holdout) to impeach Blago. The measure now moves to the Senate.

And now you see why I'm not a betting man. The Illinois Supreme Court denied the mandamus motion filed by Burris, saying that the Sec of State violated no legal duty. The essence of the court's order was that Illinois law does not impose a duty on the Secretary of State to sign or affix the state seal to the document. According to the court, the Secretary of State's ONLY duty is to "register the appointment," which he did. The court basically concluded (even though they have no authority over the same) that Senate rules cannot trump state law or the 17th Amendment, cannot make Illinois do anything further. Therefore, back to DC.

And our senior senator is not acquitting himself well lately.


I'm Not Ned said...

So the Senate Rules require it, Illinois law does not. It originates within the Illinois legal system as directed by the Constitution. The Constitution also gives the Senate the power to enact their Standing Rules which required the signature in the first place...

So the Constitution makes the Senate judges of elections, returns and qualifications for it's members.

I have a feeling that if this gets to the Supreme Court they'll find the Senate over steps their bounds by requiring the Sec. State signature on each certificate. The certificate is not the election, it's not the appointment, but it could be considered and extraneous qualification beyond what the Constitution requires and that puts us right back to Powell v. McCormack.

I really thought they would avoid that. They should have stuck with defending their barring Burris from his seat on issues of the legitimacy of the Governors appointment process.

I don't see Burris getting through the next primary.

Peter said...

I agree basically with your post, INN. Senate rules CANNOT trump either state or federal law, and the state (pursuant to the 17th Amendment, which provides 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") has done its part.

And you are exactly correct on what they should have done in the Senate.

Burris is toast already. I only hope he doesn't hand the seat to the GOP in '10.

I'm Not Ned said...

But it just keeps going...

Sec. White signed off on the appointment certificate. The Court ruled it wasn't necessary, but now the Senate has a choice to make: seat Burris or deny the seat based on Blago's ability to appoint without the appearance of impropriety.

I'm guessing Burris will be seated. Still not much of a spine on the Dem. side of the isle.

Some are claiming Blago outsmarted the Dems. I'd disagree and label this a "Hail Mary" that actually worked.