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Harry Reid The Unconstitutionalist Soldiers On

The best laid plans of mice and men are often torn asunder, sometimes by the Supreme Court.

According to a column in the Wall Street Journal, the plan hatched by Senate leader Harry Reid and others to unseat the appointment made by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is, alas, unconstitutional.

The controlling case is the Supreme Court's 7-1 decision in Powell v. McCormack in 1969:

“The legal precedent here is Congressman Adam Clayton Powell had been accused of corruption but was nonetheless re-elected in 1966. House Democrats declined to seat him, Powell sued, and the Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted unconstitutionally in denying him his seat. Congress could have expelled Powell with a two-thirds vote, as stipulated in the Constitution, but it couldn't deny him the seat in the first instance.”

This blog predicted way back in Dec 14 that Blago, wise in the ways of Chicago’s serpentine politics, might do something of the kind.

Blago’s stunning appointment of Roland Burris to president-elect Barack Obama’s old senatorial seat puts a crimp in the case against him, if it ever goes to trial. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald effectively closed down the case before Blago accomplished his boasts, some of which were caught on tape.

Now Blago has appointed a black saint to the position. It’s a politically adroit check, if not a checkmate.

And, comlicating matters further, a spokesman for the governor now claims that Reid is tripping over a conflict of interest in opposing Blago's nominee.

"I think the governor believes there is a conflict of interest — that Reid showed he has a horse in the race and Roland Burris wasn't one of them," said Lucio Guerrero said.

It appears Blago and Reid had a chat about who would best fill Obama's big senatorial shoes. A spokeman for Reid said the claim that hais boss has a conflict of interest was "absolutely rediculous."

Comments

Ted said…
Speaking of Harry Reid, Senate Democrats and Constitutional qualifications, seems there are more immediate issues than Burris, namely BHO himself (WHY NO MEDIA COVERAGE OF THIS?) --

MESSAGE TO EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS:

When counting the electoral votes, either Congress finds by 1/8/09 that Obama -- not being an Article II “natural born citizen” (father Kenyan/British, not American, citizen) -- fails to qualify as President whereupon Biden becomes the full fledged President under 3 USC 19 (free to pick his own VP such as Hillary) or thereafter defers to the Supreme Court to enjoin Obama’s inauguration with Biden becoming only Acting President under the 20th Amendment until a new President is duly determined.

The preferable choice, at least for the Democrats, would seem obvious.

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