Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Roland Burris Rejected by the U.S. Senate

"What's the Constitution among friends?" - George Washington Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

U.S. Senate Democrats warned Burris that he would be turned away if he showed up without the signature of the Illinois Secretary of State - and that's exactly what happened.

President elect Obama and Democrats have stated that any candidate appointed by Blagojveich would lack credibility.

Roland Burris is claiming that he was turned away because of his race. He is considering filing a federal discrimination lawsuit to force the Senate to seat him.

Some conservative and liberal experts agree that not seating Burris First Read: Some legal experts back Burris could create a dangerous precedent that could harm the future integrity of the Senate.

Liberal point of view: Los Angeles Times Professor Erwin Chemerinsky argues, "Allowing the Senate to exclude Burris on any except the narrowest of grounds would create a dangerous precedent. It could open the door to the Senate or the House overturning the will of the people and excluding representatives under one or another pretext. If Burris -- whose appointment meets the legal test, no matter what you think of Blagojevich -- is not seated, other properly elected or appointed representatives also are at risk."

* Erwin Chemerinsky is the dean of the UC Irvine School of Law.

Conservative point of view:
Washington Times, Bruce Fein argues that Blagojeich is still the Governor and has the legal power to appoint Obama's replacement.

*Bruce Fein is a constitutional lawyer with Bruce Fein & Associates Inc. and author of "Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for our Constitution and Democracy."

The MSNBC story can be read here:

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