Here’s What I Want to Know

Filed under:Jerks,Politics — posted by Anwyn on December 30, 2008 @ 3:28 pm

How desperate do you have to be for a Senate seat, and how sure you won’t get one any other way, to accept an appointment from a blowhard mob type who’s been arrested on federal charges and been warned from every possible quarter that his appointment to the seat will not be, um, seated? What a nest of idiots.

And why do these appointments lie with governors anyway? Who thought it was a good idea to give them that power?


  1. Hi Anwyn,

    It is unlikely that Burris can be denied his seat, see Powell v. McCormack, a SCOTUS decision from 1969 which essentially said that the qualifications that congress can look at are limited to those specified in the constitution, and Burris meets those.

    As to why the governor has the power to appoint a replacement senator, until the next election, take a look at the 17th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Bottom line is that Blago has put a big thumb in the eye of his fellow Democrats who left him to hang out and dry. He has appointed a down state politician who is clean and has no connection to the upstate machine, (Chicago), and he is African-American !

    Smart thing for Harry Reid: Back down, accept Burris, he is a pretty good choice. Personally, I’d like Reid to fight it, but he’ll probably cave. Blago sucker punched him with a decent appointment.

    Looks possible that Blago is guilty as Hell, but is willing to cause as much discomfort as he can to his fellow crooks in Chicago who threw him under the bus.

    I am saddened by these events, deeply saddened ;)

    Comment by jbarntt — December 30, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

  2. Yeah, I saw the amendment and linked to info about it. Still doesn’t explain why the amendment writers (or the states) thought it was a good idea to vest the power to give away the office in one man rather than mandate a replacement election.

    Comment by Anwyn — December 31, 2008 @ 7:55 am

  3. My guess is that they chose to appoint rather than re-elect out of expediency. The 17th amendment was written the better part of 100 years ago… communication for a statewide election would’ve been a bear back then.

    Comment by Daddyman — December 31, 2008 @ 11:46 am

  4. Hi Anwyn,

    I believe the reason why governors are vested with the power to appoint a replacement senator is because every state has an equal number of senators, i.e., two, hence with one short the state is deprived of 50 percent of its representation in that body. The same is for the most part not the case in the House, and even where a state has only one or two representatives, the much larger size of the House would mean a smaller impact on its decision making process.

    Equal representation in the senate was a big deal at the constitutional convention for the smaller states. The “Great compromise” was that the house seats were population proportional and senate seats equal, hence the importance of a state to quickly regain both seats.

    Comment by jbarntt — December 31, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

  5. I understand the need to fill the seat in a timely manner to continue equal representation. I am just wondering why it was left to one person, the gov., to appoint a position this powerful rather than special elections mandated. I’m guessing Daddyman has hit close to the truth.

    Comment by Anwyn — December 31, 2008 @ 9:26 pm

  6. Hi Anwyn,

    Elections take time, as there has to a be a campaign. In the meantime, the state is short in the senate. The power of the governor to appoint is analogous to the President’s power to appoint a cabinet member or federal court judge when the senate is out of session.

    Comment by jbarntt — January 1, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

  7. Further to comment at #6:

    The phrase is a “recess appointment” when the president does it, and is not unusual. A governor appointing a new senator is similar, and seems to be the point of the 17th amendment.

    Comment by jbarntt — January 1, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

Copy link for RSS feed for comments on this post or for TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace