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Archive of entries posted on December 2008

Can the Senate Constitutionally Refuse to Seat Roland Burris?

            This article from ABC News highlights an issue I noted several weeks ago when it questions whether the Senate actually has the power to refuse to seat Roland Burris as a Senator from Illinois.  The Senate has (or at least has previously asserted) the power to refuse to seat an appointee if it finds [...]

Is Emanuel Delaying his Resignation so that His Staff Can Find New Jobs?

          The Hill had a report yesterday regarding the “two hats” worn by Rahm Emanuel, namely (1) his presidential transition job in which he “is calling the shots for what will soon be the Obama White House” and (2) his job as a Member of Congress.  The first job is unpaid, although is evidently occupies [...]

The Emoluments Clause and the “Saxbe Fix”

          The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, art. I, § 6, cl. 2, provides that “[n]o Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office . . . the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time.”  In plain English, this means that if Senator [...]

Can Joe Biden Be Vice President and Senator at the Same Time?

              ABC News asks “Why Hasn’t Joe Biden Resigned His Senate Seat?”  Perhaps the answer is that Senator Biden, who is after all a law professor in his spare time, is familiar with this recent work of legal scholarship concluding that one can be President (or Vice-President) at the same time one holds a [...]

Rahm Emanuel’s Resignation Calculus

             While most of America is worrying about losing a job, there is at least one person who has to worry about having too many.  That would be Rahm Emanuel, who currently holds at least three different titles and responsibilities.  He is a Member of the 110th Congress, representing the 5th Congressional District of [...]

A Seventeenth Amendment Problem in Illinois

           Today’s events in Illinois raise some really interesting questions under the Seventeenth Amendment.  This amendment established popular election of Senators (who previously were elected by state legislatures) and made the following provision for filling of vacancies:  When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State [...]