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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hoping For The Wrong Result On The Burris Certification Lawsuit

Legally, the Illinois Supreme Court should rule that Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is required to sign and affix the state seal to the Certificate of Appointment issued by Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointing Roland Burris to Barack Obama's open Senate seat. But emotionally and politically, I hope the Illinois Supreme Court rejects the suit.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has embarrassed himself by his frequent changes of position on the Burris appointment, all of which are carefully laid out in a Chicago Tribune editorial today and in my prior posts. Reid also has lied about his newly found softer stance, announcing at yesterday's press conference that his meeting with Burris was a key factor, and that once White certifies the appointment, seating Burris is possible. In fact, a phone call from Obama pressuring Reid to change his position was the true reason Reid has softened his stance. So Reid now is lying about his own lies.

At this point, Reid's face-saving escape hatch consists of having the Illinois Supreme Court order White to certify the Certificate of Appointment. While the Illinois Supreme Court should do what is right, there is a part of me that hopes they do what is wrong. If the Illinois Supreme Court does not order White to certify the Burris appointment, Reid will have no exit strategy.

With no state certification (and none is needed), Reid will have to confront the U.S. Constitution, and the issue of Reid's own power. Reid either will have to further humiliate himself, or risk a court battle which Reid likely will lose. Either way, this country would be better off politically, so that Reid understands that he is Senate Majority Leader, not Emperor.

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