Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mr. Burris Heads to the Supreme Court

Mr. Burris Heads to the Supreme Court; Adam Freedman; Ricochet

Ricochet member Frozen Chosen made the wise suggestion the other day of abolishing the 17th Amendment, which provides for the popular election of senators. Well, here's a perfect example of 17th Amendment mischief that could have been avoided. 

Because of some odd litigation involving the 17th Amendment's requirements for filling vacancies, Illinois has to hold two Senate elections this November. There's the regular election for the full six-year term, the winner of which will take office in January. But the courts say that Illinois also has to hold a special election to fill the remaining 2+ months of Obama's term, i.e., from election day (November) until January.

Burris, who isn't running for the full term has for some reason decided that it is vitally important that he stay in office for those last two months. But he's not on the special election ballot. And so he's trying to enjoin the special election, and he's taking his case to the Supreme Court and from there, I suppose, right on up to Cloud-Cuckoo Land. What's going on? Does he have any particular goal other than embarrassing Illinois Democrats? Doesn't Burris want some time off for the holidays?

It's fun to watch, but now I'm really persuaded by Frozen's suggestion to return to the original concept of having state legislatures appoint senators.

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