The Congressional Research Service Says the Senate Can Exclude Burris

Jane (here, here, and here) and bmaz (here, here, and here) have been diligently chronicling the continuing saga of seating Roland Burris. In the last week, we’ve seen Reid and Durbin scream Go! Stop! Go! at Burris.

But it turns out, since last Monday, they’ve had a Congressional Research Service study explaining whether or not they have to seat Burris, one they seem to have lost in all the excitement. It gives a basis I’ve not heard yet on which to exclude Burris (no link yet). 

Under the Powell decision and rationale, and under the express constitutional grant of authority, the Senate (and House) may, in addition to examining “qualifications” of Members-elect, examine the “elections” and “returns” of their own Members, that is, whether an individual presenting valid credentials has been “duly” chosen. A few years after the Powell decision, the Supreme Court in Roudebush v. Hartke, 405 U.S. 15 (1972), clearly affirmed the right of the Senate to make the final and conclusive determination concerning the election process and seating of its own Members.

[snip]

Additionally, the Senate has from time-to-time examined the election or selection process (prior to the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, Senators were selected by state legislatures) to see if corruption or bribery has so tainted the process as to call into question its validity.

All that says, really, is to look beyond just Powell to Roudebush as well to see whether or not the Senate can exclude Burris if it wants (bmaz assures me he will look up Roudebush once he gets done with his actual lawyering today).  And that corruption or bribery is fair game.

That said, even with Burris’ admission that he talked to Lon Monk about the seat, the way in which Blago’s defense-or-maybe-not lawyer Sam Adam Jr. brokered the appointment, and other dubious ties between Burris and Blago, it’s not clear that Congress yet has a clear case that Burris’ appointment–as distinct from Blago’s earlier attempts to sell the seat–involved bribery or any corruption outside the norm in Chicago politics. 

Update: Lawrence Tribe weighs in on the "they can exclude Burris" side. Note, this appears to have been published before Obama said he was staying out of this. 

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

0 Responses to The Congressional Research Service Says the Senate Can Exclude Burris

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58
  • 59
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 63
  • 64
  • 65
  • 66
  • 67
  • 68
  • 69
  • 70
  • 71
  • 72
  • 73
  • 74
  • 75
  • 76
  • 77
  • 78
  • 79
  • 80
  • 81
  • 82
  • 83
  • 84
  • 85
  • 86
  • 87
  • 88
  • 89
  • 90
  • 91
  • 92
  • 93
  • 94
  • 95
  • 96
  • 97
Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Happy Monday. When the world became safe for serial fraudster and money laundering accomplice HSBC again.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @BobbyChesney: @bmaz They seem to have wanted to maximize impression of constraint, but w/out paying full price in practice. I'm sensing…
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @lawfareblog: Robert Chesney: "Waiving the "Imminent Threat" Test for CIA Drone Strikes in Pakistan?" http://t.co/yxKjG6CQBG
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @BobbyChesney Works as a PR salve for a complicit and unrestrained Executive Branch?
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @BobbyChesney: Big issue this story raises: what work does the "imminent threat" test really do when "imminent" means "continuing"? http…
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@BobbyChesney @adamentous If there can be such a blanket, non-specific "waiver" on "imminent threat", then there is no requirement at all.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @dpottzzz @william_pitts I dunno, I think this is yet another thing I can hold over @AZ_Dream_Killer #GoDevils
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @MikeBerco: I have no idea what I'm watching on ESPN2 right now... But GO DEVILS!! #HeroesOfTheDorm
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @william_pitts: The best part of #HeroesOfTheDorm ? U of A probably sucks at it too. #GODEVILS
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz No clue what this is, but I bet @Popehat would grok it.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
January 2009
S M T W T F S
« Dec   Feb »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031