Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Honorable (But Silly) Compromise

OK, so Roland Burris can be sworn in now. Apparently the Illinois Secretary of State still hasn't signed Burris's appointment certificate, but he signed a separate document attesting that the certificate is valid. The previous Illinois Supreme Court ruling points out (near the end) that Illinois law requires the Secretary of State to provide a certified copy of any record or paper in his office. The Governor's appointment certificate for Burris was such a record or paper, so the Secretary provided Burris with a certified copy.

I'm sure the Secretary had a wonderful time playing games here, and it's good that the Illinois Supreme Court did research that the parties didn't do and came up with a solution, but still, the whole thing is ridiculous. If, as the Secretary of State claimed, he wasn't required to sign the appointment certificate, why has he and his predecessors been signing the certificates for Illinois members of Congress for decades? Also, after Senator Reid claimed that the Senate had never made an exception to the certificate requirement since 1884, it seems that they made something like an exception -- or at least gave the Senate rule a generous construction. I still say the Secretary of State should have signed the certificate.

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