Tuesday, December 30, 2008
By Steven L. Taylor

ABC’s Jake Tapper reports: Blago to Appoint Illinois Pol to Obama Senate Seat

Scandalized Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will today appoint Roland Burris to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama.

Burris was Attorney General of Illinois from 1991 until 1995. Then-state senator Obama backed Burris over Blagojevich in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2002.

Blagojevich will make this announcement despite his attorney Ed Genson’s Dec. 17 prediction that the governor would not appoint anyone to the Senate seat, citing the Senate Majority Leader’s warning that they might not seat the embattled lawmaker’s pick.


Update: More from CNN: Blagojevich to name Obama successor.

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8 Responses to “Blago to Appoint After All”

  1. Matthew Says:

    I just don’t get Blago. He seems to exist in a fantasy world. Must be nice.

  2. MSS Says:

    So is his power here unilateral? For some reason, I just assumed that the states that allow a governor to “appoint” an interim Senator actually had a confirmation process (like federal cabinet and court appointments). I recall (though I suppose I could recall incorrectly) that when Sen. Pete Wilson was elected Governor of California, the state legislature confirmed Wilson’s replacement.

    But none of the coverage that I have seen of the sudden surge of vacant Senate seats (have we ever had so many at once?) has mentioned confirmation.

    I can’t understand why any state would let its Senate representation be determined by a unilateral executive act (regardless of the political or legal standing of its incumbent governor at the time). For that matter, I can’t understand why the constitutional amendment that took the selection of Senators out of the hands of state legislatures did not leave it there for the case of interim replacements.

    –a different Matthew

  3. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

    My understanding is that the amendment in question left the process open to the states and is defined by statute.

    If I recall properly, there was no confirmation process in Texas when Ann Richards appointed Lloyd Bentsen’s replacement, and I am fairly certain that the power is unilateral in many (most?) states.

    It is my clear impression that this is the case in Illinois.

  4. MWR Says:

    I am so angry at Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    His action today insults, not only the people Illinois but, the entire nation.

    Mr. Burris is a most admired and capable public servant, yet Mr. Blagojevich chose to compromise the potential benefit of Mr. Burris serving as Senator to serve his egocentric goals.

    I am also ashamed by the behavior of Mr. Blagojevich.

    If Mr. Blagojevich truly wants to serve to people of Illinois and if he is truly innocent, he will step aside now.

  5. MWR Says:


    Gov. get an adult hair-cut.

  6. Ratoe Says:

    Shug, There is no State Senate approval of the Governor’s choice in Illinois. The process is enshrined in the 1970 Constitution.

    The Illinois Secretary of State, however, has said he won’t process the paperwork, or certify, Blago’s appointment. I’m not sure about the legality of this move.

    It is amazing that Burris is going along with this–although maybe the fact that he’s donated thousands of dollars to the governor and received state contracts in the past might have something to do with it.

  7. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Burris Appointment Video Says:

    [...] This partially answers a question asked here. [...]

  8. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Burris Appointment Video Says:

    [...] This partially answers a question asked here. [...]

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