Patterico's Pontifications


Could the Senate Refuse To Seat a Senator Appointed by Blago?

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Current Events — Patterico @ 6:00 pm

Eugene Volokh says no.

UPDATE: The L.A. Times quotes experts who say yes.

It’s a Battle of the Experts! Let the games begin!

17 Responses to “Could the Senate Refuse To Seat a Senator Appointed by Blago?”

  1. Under these conditions, who would take it?

    Okay…Alan Keyes. Who else?

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  2. Mike Ditka!
    Don’t think too many would want to get in-his-face with some corruption crap.
    And, if they got him mad, they wouldn’t have to worry about stripping away old paint for a fresh-up,
    he would just blister it off the walls.

    Another Drew (821fe5)

  3. Ditka is a falling down drunk – and has been one for the past 20 years. Next!

    Dmac (e30284)

  4. Harry Reid can do anything!!!!!!eleventy!!!!1111!!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  5. Patricia: that would be hilarious. However, I don’t think it’s terribly likely.

    aphrael (f785e6)

  6. Seriously, as full of themselves as most Senators are, I don’t think any SCOTUS decision is going to keep them from declining to seat someone, if they think it is their interest politically to do so.
    I think that they would roll the dice and chance letting the Court get involved.

    Another Drew (821fe5)

  7. I’d take it. In a heartbeat.

    “Mr. Blago, your party is throwing you to the sharks. They are done with you. What say you twist a knife a little…”

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  8. Yes, but I think back to the immortal words of Marx, Groucho…
    I wouldn’t join any club that would have me as a member.

    Another Drew (821fe5)

  9. yeah, but C-SPAN’s ratings would skyrocket…

    And the guy manning the bleeper button would end up with a repetative motion injury. :)

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  10. The Senate may not reject the credentials of a gentleman/lady who presents such? OK.

    But, what if there are no credentials? The Secretaries of State typically draw up such papers for presentation to congress. What if the guy in Illinois was too “busy” to do this? What recourse are there? Would the Illinois AG sue? I highly doubt it in this instance.

    If the State Comptroller of California can ignore the Governor’s edicts as to the payments of wages for state employees, I am guessing other cabinet officers, elected or appointed, can similarly sit on their pens in other circumstances.

    Ed (957a32)

  11. The only precedent cited by the Times involves a disputed election. I could see this used with Coleman, but not with this seat.

    There is no disputed election. Could they prove that the hypothetical senator selected by Blagojevich is as a result of a bribe? Saying you are willing to take a bribe is different from actually doing it. Besides, I don’t think they have the authority to question his motives. An appointment is an appointment. The senate can’t refuse a duly appointed senator because they do not like the governor, who incidentally is innocent until proven guilty.

    Blagojevich is not the first corrupt governor. Almost all senate seats used to result from these types of deals. That’s why the reforming 17th Amendment was passed. The precedent is with Blago.

    Blago can appoint whoever he wants. As I said elsewhere – if you elect a scoundrel as governor don’t be surprised when your governor acts like a scoundrel.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  12. Also, as I said elsewhere, we have seen charges against public officials trumped up. I don’t think we want to set a precedent for preventing a governor from exercising his or her legal prerogatives.

    Character Matters.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  13. There are good arguments on both sides of the issue, but if push comes to shove, I’m going with Senatorial discretion.

    Ropelight (5b609a)

  14. Wouldn’t it be funny if in a moment where Blago felt like giving the finger to Baracky and the Senate, he appointed a Republican, or even better, just some Joe or Jane Citizen off the street, or some homeless person?

    JD (6a82b7)

  15. Reid was a moron to make the threat. That’s not how things work in Illinois. Sure, Blagojevich doubled down and lost but he has a lot more left to lose. He would have been amenable to a little friendly persuasion from the Daleys. “Be a stand up guy now. We don’t know what’s gonna happen to you but Patti and the kids can be taken care of while you’re away”. It probably will end up that way, anyway. With an “unimpeachable” appointment supported by the Illinois Legislature, the whole Democratic Party, and The One.

    nk (094d4d)

  16. The idea that Pat Quinn will finally become Governor of Illinois, should Blagojevich ever be removed from office, either voluntarily or by force, should concern people too. What a kook.

    JD (6a82b7)

  17. Let’s not go off half-cocked. Blogo has rights, he hasn’t been convicted of any illegal activity yet, and he’s an elected office holder.

    Yes, he’s dirty, and yes he was talking about selling a Senate appointment, but until he’s proved guilty of breaking the law, Fitzgerald’s tapes are not enough to remove him from office.

    Blogo should step down, but he doesn’t have to do it, he’s not had his day in court and nothing has been proved.

    Ropelight (5b609a)

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