Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Plenty of Time to Catch Up on Thinking When You're Dead 

Roland Burris today:
Some of Burris' supporters have bemoaned the fact that Democrats would stand in the way of the Senate gaining its only black member. Burris himself downplayed the issue of race, telling reporters: "I cannot control my supporters. I have never in my life, in all my years of being elected to office, thought anything about race." (Emphasis added.)
Roland Burris's future tomb:
Burris already has a granite mausoleum erected under the heading "TRAIL BLAZER," followed by his achievement as "First African-American in Illinois to Become", the Chicago Tribune reports.
To be clear, while (like many) I think Burris has come off as a self-satisfied blowhard, that is not to say I think Burris should not be seated. To the contrary, my tentative view is that, while Akhil Amar has put forth a fairly persuasive (though hardly certain) argument that the Senate has the unreviewable power to refuse to seat Burris, for the Senate to exercise that power here, where there is no evidence of a corrupt bargain between Blagojevich and Burris, would be an abuse of that power and set a bad precedent for the future. Better to let Burris be seated and schedule a special election to replace him posthaste, which the Illinois Legislature retains the power to do under the Seventeenth Amendment.


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