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Archive of entries posted on January 2009

Rove Seeks Legal Advice of Noted Constitutional Scholar

             The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Karl Rove to appear and testify at a hearing on Monday, February 2.  Rove’s attorney has responded by forwarding the subpoena to the Obama White House and asking, in essence, whether President Obama agrees that Rove should continue to abide by former President Bush’s instruction not to appear.  [...]

Potential Treasury Chief of Staff and the “Specific Issue” Prohibition

             ABC News reports that Mark Patterson, a former lobbyist for Goldman Sachs, is in line to become chief of staff to incoming Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.  The article does not say whether the Obama Administration is considering a waiver of the Ethics E.O. for Patterson.                Would Patterson be able to take the chief [...]

Roll Call Report on Ethics Executive Order

           Roll Call offers this report on the reaction of Washington lobbyists to the new E.O. on ethics.  It makes several interesting points.  First, it notes that the E.O. is viewed as a virtual ban (absent a waiver) on hiring lobbyists by the new Administration.  Second, it notes that some lobbyists are looking for ways [...]

Obama’s Executive Order on Ethics- A Journey Through Section 3

         Today we will commence a review of the Obama Executive Order on Ethics, a subject that I suspect will be much discussed over the coming months and years.  We will focus first on the provisions applicable to incoming lobbyists.  Although the E.O. is not limited to lobbyists, its application to them is particularly draconian.  [...]

More Fun with Certificates of Election

         Al Franken has petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court for an order directing the Governor and Secretary of State to prepare and countersign a certificate of election and deliver the same to the President of the United States Senate.  The Governor and the Secretary have refused; they contend that, under Minnesota law, issuance of a [...]

Is the Secretary’s Signature Necessary on the Credentials of a Senator Designate?

          Over at Concurring Opinions Brian Kalt is kicking himself for taking Senators Reid and Durbin at their word when they claimed that Senate rules require a Secretary of State to sign the credentials of a Senator Designate (a Senator who has been appointed).  As the Illinois Supreme Court pointed out in its opinion yesterday, [...]

State of Confusion

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White explains the legalities of his refusal to sign the certification of Roland Burris’s appointment to the U.S. Senate:  “My signature is not necessarily required for the Senate to place the gentleman in the seat,” White said Tuesday during a radio interview. “It carries a lot of weight, but my [...]

A Summary of the Burris Commentary and Issues

The dispute over the appointment of Roland Burris has drawn commentary from a number of legal scholars.  Akil Amar, Josh Chafetz and Larry Tribe have expressed the view that the Senate may properly refuse to seat him, as have, somewhat more tentatively, Jack Balkin and Mark Tushnet.   Eugene Volokh, Brian Kalt, Michael Rappaport, Sandy Levinson, [...]

Rahm Emanuel’s Peculiar Resignation

            By letter dated January 2, 2009 (although apparently released earlier in the week), Rahm Emanuel informed Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich that “I am writing to resign my position as United States Representative from the Fifth Congressional District of Illinois, effective January 2, 2009.”              What is odd about this letter is that January 2 was [...]

Is Hillary Clinton Unconstitutional?

          On Friday, December 19, 2008, the President signed into law S.J. Res. 46, which provides “[t]he compensation and other emoluments attached to the Secretary of State shall be those in effect January 1, 2007, notwithstanding any increase in such compensation or emoluments after that date under any provision of law, or provision which has [...]