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Reid Claims The Authority To Block Burris

From those Constitutional scholars at Reuters:

Reid cites "legal authority" to bar Illinois pick

Sun Jan 4

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Sunday that "legal authority" exists under the Constitution to bar embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pick to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat, but added there is also room to negotiate.

Under the Constitution, Reid said, "We determine who sits in the Senate. And the House (of Representatives) determines who sits in the House. So there’s clearly legal authority for us to do whatever we want to do. This goes back for generations."

Speaking on NBC’s "Meet the Press," Reid said he plans to meet on Wednesday with Blagojevich’s choice for the Senate, Roland Burris, 71, the former Illinois attorney general, a fellow Democrat.

Asked if there was room for a possible settlement, Reid said, "I’m an old trial lawyer. There is always room to negotiate."

New members will be sworn in on Tuesday with the opening of the new Congress…

Asked if Burris will become a U.S. senator, Reid said, "It will be very difficult for that to occur." But he added, "Anything can happen."


It looks like a matter for Article I Section 5 of the Constitution:

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members…

Versus the 17th Amendment:

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

And the precedent is muddled, to say the least.

But the Democrat leadership will probably get their way. They always do.

After all, neither the Constitution nor any other laws of man or God mean a damn thing to them.

Power is all.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, January 4th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “Reid Claims The Authority To Block Burris”

  1. U NO HOO says:

    But Al Franken is a shoo-in?

  2. curvyred says:

    This is so fun to watch – the Democrats launch accusations at Republicans constantly.

    I wonder why the typical race-provocateurs are not all over this? If Reid blocks Burris I expect a back-lash, and rightfully so – it is a legal appointment – like it or not. Blago really put the hex on the Dems and I love it. Thanks Blago!

  3. U NO HOO says:

    Reid has a Burr(is) under his saddle or up his butt?

    Sorry, probably not too punny.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    My money (if I had any) is on the old BLACK RACIST to drop the old wrinkled skinbag in one punch.

    • proreason says:

      I’m with LD.

      Racism is the biggest trump card around.

      Just look at Barakenstein. Direct from the test-tube to the Presidency, because he’s 50% black.

    • JohnMG says:

      Nope! Remember, there’s always room to negotiate. We have that on the authority of an ‘old trial lawyer’. All he did is set the stage for the whole bogus affair to be excused because (they)…”We determine who sits in the Senate. And the House (of Representatives) determines who sits in the House. So there’s clearly legal authority for us to do whatever we want to do. This goes back for generations.”

      All you see right now is the cover thay’re providing for themselves to “have their cake, and eat it too”. Franken, as well.

      These people are shameless. Does anyone need further proof?

  5. cjokry says:

    What happened to when the American people decided who sat in the senate and house!? How can even a powerwhore like Reid say something that brazen? Oh yeah, they have like a 95% incumbency in congress, which means they’re about 5% accountable for whatever they do or say.

    And as for Franken, what happened to when the American people decided who sat in the senate and house!?

  6. proreason says:

    “In a 1969 case involving Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who was barred from the U.S. House of Representatives because of corruption allegations, the Supreme Court said that “in judging the qualifications of its members, Congress is limited to the standing qualifications prescribed in the Constitution” and that “since Adam Clayton Powell Jr. was duly elected by the voters of the 18th congressional district of New York and was not ineligible to serve under any provision of the Constitution, the House was without power to exclude him from its membership.”

    Steve Chapman, jan 4, 2009


    This is REALLY gonna be fun

  7. Gila Monster says:

    I still find it interesting that the Obamessiah (pbuh) continues his silence concerning this issue. The office he formerly held is being filled and he has absolutely no opinion on his successor or on how it’s being filled?
    Come on now Barry, take a stance on something for crying out loud..!!

  8. pdsand says:

    Consider what happened with regards to the reconstruction acts and the senators from the South earlier on in the still on-going war of northern aggression. The senators at that time arbitrarily decided to refuse to seat our senators, and nobody ever said anything. That situation had a certain racial element to it as well. Interesting how far we’ve come.

    • 1sttofight says:

      Lincoln started the destruction of the Constitution.

      The One will finish the job.
      Both are from Illinois.

      Lock and Load Boys, We are going to have to do it all over again.

    • GuppyNblue says:

      That reminds me of Lincoln’s crackdown on the constitution (suspending Habeus Corpus, arresting Maryland legislators, shutting down newspapers, etc). Maybe there was a side of Lincoln that Obama really does aspire to.

      Our Constitution is, like the dollar, a very thin piece of paper today. Reid doesn’t have a honest argument but he does have a lawyer’s. Pick a side and argue it with the best rhetoric you can muster. By today’s standards, truth and law have nothing to do with it.

      But I admit that I don’t understand this. I know too many liberals personally to understand that they’re hypocritical when it comes to racism but, is that really the reason Reid would want to keep Burris out of the Senate ? He’s got a lot of dirt in his past and why, at this point, would another Chicago politician bother any democrat?

    • proreason says:

      “But I admit that I don’t understand this. ”

      Burris knows a lot about Obamy, and he’s jealous. Burris toiled away for years in the trenches, and he is actually qualified for high office. My hunch is that he hates the guy that got all the breaks he didn’t get.

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