Monday, January 5, 2009

Reid's Not Powerful Enough to Block Burris.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in an interview with NBC's David Gregory on Meet the Press stated, with regards to Burris being allowed to serve as a Illinois Senator that "there's clearly legal authority for us to do anything we want to do. This goes back for generations." Isn't he eloquent...not!

Obviously, Reid is out of touch with the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution says, "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members." The Supreme Court has ruled that in this context, "qualifications" are the criteria laid out by the Constitution itself. For example, that a Senator be at least 30 years old, that a Senator be a U.S. Citizen for at least nine years. There is no legal authority to block Burris. He is over thirty and he is a U.S. citizen and a resident of Illinois.

Sure, Burris is possibly tainted due to the deep association with Blagojevich. However, that does not, unfortunately, make him unqualified for the role of Senator.

So, what will likely happen is he will go to a Federal District Court Judge in Washington D.C., who will quickly sign an order directing the Secretary of the Senate to administer the Oath of Office to Burris.

There is only one way that Burris could be expelled after he is seated, and that is for disorderly behavior. When Burris' detractors are the disorderly ones and not him, that will not hold water in court. The Senate has standards for expulsion. Senators have committed felonies and have not been expelled. Therefore, it is likely that Burris will be in the Senate at least until 2012.

Sorry Harry. You are not more powerful than the U.S. Constitution. If you expell Burris, you'll have to expell some of your own people.

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