On December 10, Senate Democrats sent a letter to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich writing: ““We write to insist that you step down and…under no circumstances make an appointment to fill the vacant Illinois Senate seat.” The letter further threatened that if Blagojevich ignored their warning, “we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated.”
Well now that Blagojevich has appointed Roland Burris to President-elect Barack Obama’s old senate seat, most Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), are attempting to follow through on their threat. But as Sen. Dianne Feinstein explains, it would be unconstitutional for them to do so:
I can’t imagine the secretary of state countermanding a gubernatorial appointment. The question, really, is one in my view of law. And that is, does the governor have the power to make the appointment? And the answer is yes. Is the governor discredited? And the answer is yes.
Does that affect his appointment power? And the answer is no until certain things happen.
Feinstein added that if Burris isn’t seated “it affects gubernatorial appointments all over the country.”