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December 30, 2008

Illinois Secretary of State: I Won't Certify Roland Burris as Senator

I guess that ends this drama.

Reid won't even have to intercede.

In an act of political audacity, embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich named former state attorney general Roland Burris to fill President-elect Obama's Senate seat, a position he is accused of trying to "sell."

The appointment was instantly rejected by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White who said he would refuse to certify Burris' selection, and by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who said Burris would not be allowed to be seated.

SecState White is black, by the way. Not sure how that matters, except that, you know, it matters. Because he's racist against Burris or somethin'.

Thanks to Alice H.

Gabe's Analysis: Gabe sends this--

Regarding the Illinois Secretary of State refusing to certify Blagojevich's appointment, I think there's a good case to be made that he has no choice in the matter.
15 Ill. Comp. Stat. 305/5 provides: It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State: ... 2. To make a register of all appointments by the Governor, specifying the person appointed, the office conferred, the date of the appointment, the date when bond or oath is taken and the date filed. If Senate confirmation is required, the date of the confirmation shall be included in the register. The use of "shall" typically indicates a mandatory act without discretion.
Of course, I don't really know anything about Illinois law. It was just my first thought that since the state delegates the power to make appointments to the Governor, the Secretary of State would also have to have been delegated some authority to stop him. As far as I can tell, it doesn't. So, if I were going for the crazy defense like Blagojevich appears to I'd go ahead with the appointment anyway, and declare Buriss a Senator. Of course, this now gives Harry Reid cover to refuse to seat him...

Gabe may be right, but I think he's forgetting that this is Illinois. It doesn't seem that the letter of the law is particularly important to the political class. Expediency, self-interest, and raw political muscle -- the political class simply agreeing this can be done, the law be damned -- seem to be the real law of the state.



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posted by Ace at 04:35 PM

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