Friday, December 12, 2008

Splitting Hairs

It is crucially important that the Illinois Supreme Court not declare Blagojevich unable to serve.

Impeachment is such a tricky business. I've just heard an estimate that even with no supporters on Blagojevich's side, the impeachment process could still take weeks. That's lowballing it. Declaring him unfit to serve is an extremely tempting shortcut: nobody wants him in this job, nobody doubts his guilt, nobody wants this to go on longer than it should.

The problem is that declaring him unfit to serve seems borderline unconstitutional to me. The purpose of the "unfit to serve" stipulation is that the governor literally can't serve, like he's sick or he lost his thumbs or something. The impeachment process is meant to remove governors that have improperly served. Blagojevich is in office as I write this. Which one do you think is more true?

It's disgusting that the State Attorney General Lisa Madigan should have already known this, and I'm guessing she does (probably more about it than me.) Is she directly ignoring that just to get him out of office? If this goes through, if the Supreme Court of Illinois declares Blagojevich unfit to serve despite the fact that he can, it sets a terrifying precedent. This means that whenever there's an elected official that can be ousted via Judical Branch, they will be as soon as they lose favor, competely ignoring the constitutional procedures and any fair trials.

It'll be nice to see him go (finally), but not like this, never like this.
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