Burris is considering a federal lawsuit if Reid continues to refuse to seat Burris. This will present an interesting constitutional question as to the power of the Senate to refuse to seat lawfully appointed Senators who otherwise meet the constitutional qualifications. On the one hand, Reid and a small number of law professors argue that Senate power over seating members is unlimited and not subject to judicial review. Many others (including me) argue that the Senate power is limited to the issue of whether a Senator meets the constitutional qualifications; otherwise, appointments and elections become merely advisory subject to the whim of the majority party.
This has all the makings of a true constitutional crisis, at a time when a single vote in the Senate may decide the fate of important legislation. Politically, I’m happy to have one less Democrat in the Senate; constitutionally, I think Harry Reid should not create a needless crisis over a legally meaningless piece of paper.
The document on Lynn Sweet’s blog appears to be the certificate for Barack Obama’s election to the Senate in 2004, signed by Blagojevich and White, which she posted for comparison purposes (to show what a typical Rule 2 certificate looks like). It would be interesting to see a copy of the document that White signed yesterday. If it has been described correctly, it would almost (but not literally) comply with Senate Rule 2.
Why hasn’t Jesse White posted the document he signed on his website? After making such a big show over his refusal to sign, doesn’t he owe it to the nation to release the document promptly?
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