The US Constitution Recognizes Senator Roland Burris
The Moral v Legal arguments for and against recognizing and seating the new senator from Illinois make great cable TV debate; however, as anyone who's ever read Antigone has learned the hard way, moral arguments won't save you in a court of law.
Ahem. The dean of the UC Irvine law school concurs:
The Supreme Court's conclusion could not be clearer or more on point: "In short, both the intention of the framers, to the extent that it can be determined, and an examination of basic principles of our democratic system persuade us that the Constitution does not vest in the Congress a discretionary power to deny membership by a majority vote."
The desire of Senate Democrats, and even Obama, to keep Blagojevich from picking the new senator from Illinois is understandable -- a federal attorney arrested the governor on charges of trying to sell the appointment for personal gain. Although Burris is untainted by the scandal, any selection made by Blagojevich is suspect.
But the taint of Blagojevich's alleged crimes does not justify ignoring the Constitution. For the last eight years, the Bush administration has ignored or twisted the Constitution to serve what it believed were higher ends. It would be an enormous mistake, as a new administration prepares to take charge, for Democrats to send the Senate down that same path.
Erwin Chemerinsky is the dean of the UC Irvine School of Law.
-Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)
Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19-- And she made him (Samson) sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head.