Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Harry Reid: Senate Won't Seat Blagoyevich Senate Appointee

The Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet tells FOX News tonight that Sen. Harry Reid has sent out word the Senate will not seat anyone Gov. Rod Blagoyevich appoints to fill Obama's Senate seat. Democratic leaders in the Illinois General Assembly plan to introduce legislation next week to strip Blagoyevich of his statutory authority to make the appointment and, instead, establish a special election to fill the vacancy. That may be a quick fix to the problem, but it could prove problematic for the Democratic Party. If the Republicans don't step on this opportunity, it could provide an opening for a reform-minded, outsider candidate to win a special election. Wouldn't that be a major blow to the President-Elect?

3 comments:

TheAlmightyCthulhu said...

The problem is that the Senate doesn't have the authority to refuse, they only have the authority to judge elections (this appointee isn't elected. they can also refuse seating because of qualifications, like if the appointee is not old enough or hasn't been a US citizen for at least 20 years

The bottom line is that Blagoyevich still has the authority to make that appointment until the Illinois legislature impeaches him (which the Illinois Constitution makes no provision for, oddly enough) or he resigns, or until he is "incapacitated", they might be able to use this, but then again, he is still out and about and able to fulfill his job duty until they actually throw him in prison.

Illinois could be dealing with Blagoyevich for a long, long.......long long time.

The only reason they convicted Stevens so quickly, remember, was because he asked for the speediest trial possible, so he could "clear his good name" before the election.

Mr. Blagoyevich could probably drag this out for a year, maybe more, and in the mean time, the Senate has to seat anyone he sends unless they demand a special election before he can appoint someone. (I've never seen the government work that fast.)

Tell you the truth, this is the worst possible time for this, and the economy collapse, and for those poor soldiers stuck in the Iraq limbo, they have a worthless lame duck president and a lame duck Congress who don't give a rat's ass managing the whole deal.

mastratton said...

The Senate absolutely has the power to refuse to seat any one sent to it. It is THE sole judge of the qualifications those sent to it, and while you interpret "qualifications" to mean only those criteria specified in the Constitution, this part of the Constitution isn't limited. The Senate is free to judge the qualifications however it sees fit.

And it may well conclude that a person named by the Governor of Illinois was sent their as a result illegal activity, and thus not qualified.

Your interpretation is certainly valid, but it is far from the only one, and, truthfully, I'm certain it is not entirely correct or accurate.

Lord Peter said...

The problem is that the Senate doesn't have the authority to refuse, they only have the authority to judge elections (this appointee isn't elected. they can also refuse seating because of qualifications, like if the appointee is not old enough or hasn't been a US citizen for at least 20 years

I don't think that this can be the case. Otherwise, if the governor of Kansas appointed someone to fill Obama's slot, and the individual was otherwise eligible to be a Senator, the Senate would have no choice but to seat him. This can't be the case - the Senate must have some authority under the "seating" clause to look into appointments as well.

Whether they have as much power as Reid asserts, of course, is not clear, since the appointment (if made tomorrow) would seem to be basically legal. And yet it would be completely inappropriate, not to say corrupt.