Courtesy of Ben Smith at Politico, here is a letter from Timothy W. Wright III, attorney for Senator-Designate Roland Burris of Illinois, to majority leader Harry Reid. It’s a nice bit of reasoning on how utterly irrelevant is the refusal of the Illinois secretary of state to countersign and seal the governor’s appointment of Burris to the Senate. And Wright uses Marbury v. Madison (1803) in a creative but surprisingly serviceable way–perhaps the first use of Marbury anyone has offered in decades that has made any sense at all!
There goes Reid and company’s first line of defense–the absurd argument that the Illinois secretary of state’s signature is somehow necessary. All that is left for Reid is the transparent pretense of setting the Rules and Administration Committee on a snipe hunt for “corruption” in Gov. Blagojevich’s appointment of Burris. (Blago turns out to be a crook whose stupidity stops well short of stepping in that pitfall.) With the recent revelation that Sen. Reid was himself phoning the governor weeks ago to veto certain potential choices, it’s awfully difficult to avoid the conclusion that his opposition to seating Roland Burris has more to do with the seat’s vulnerability in 2010 than with any alleged impropriety in the governor’s appointment.