Thursday, December 18, 2008

Illinois Supreme Court gives the back of its hand to state AG's loony lawsuit

At least one group of Illinois officials are taking their jobs seriously. Thursday, the state's high court dismissed without so much as a brief comment Attorney General Lisa Madigan's absurd "emergency" effort to get the court to declare Governor Blagojevich "unfit" to serve under a statute meant for use when the state executive is in a coma. Then, it gave her the back of its collective hand by similarly denying without comment her request for permission to come back to the court to make a fuller case.

Madigan, whose machinations in this Blagojemess are suspect in light of her well-known ambition to succeed Blago as Governor, ought to have been embarrassed by the thread-bare arguments she advanced in favor of her bizarre reading of the law. But at least, the court has quickly slapped her down.

Astonishingly, some Illinois lawmakers apparently thought the AG's lawsuit might actually work. According to The New York Times, "The ruling stirred consternation among some lawmakers here, many of whom had seen the request to the court as the fastest, straightest route to Mr. Blagojevich’s departure, even if a bit of a long shot." Now, they're really stuck with Plan B, impeachment, but Blago plans to fight them tooth and nail.

Meanwhile, tick, tock, goes the clock on the chance of holding a special election to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat any time soon.

1 comment:

  1. Madigan looks a fool for this unfit-to-serve business, but impeachment in IL is not a criminal-type affair. I don't think they need Fitzgerald's evidence or any other. I think they just need the House to approve a "cause for impeachment" and the Senate to try the case. But no high crimes & misdemeanors are necessary. Seems like it could move quickly (though of course we're up against the holidays, etc.).

    The House of Representatives has the sole power to
    conduct legislative investigations to determine the existence
    of cause for impeachment and, by the vote of a majority of
    the members elected, to impeach Executive and Judicial
    officers. Impeachments shall be tried by the Senate. When
    sitting for that purpose, Senators shall be upon oath, or
    affirmation, to do justice according to law. If the Governor
    is tried, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall
    preside. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence
    of two-thirds of the Senators elected. Judgment shall not
    extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to
    hold any public office of this State. An impeached officer,
    whether convicted or acquitted, shall be liable to
    prosecution, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.