Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blagojevich Wins Today in Court, and It's a Good Thing

The Illinois Supreme Court declined today to take up the issue of whether the Governor of the state remains fit for office. That is a good thing.

Attorney General Amy Madigan, on a desperate quest for a rationale for what most people want to do, submitted a widely panned brief relying on a dictionary definition, without any real effort at legal interpretation, to have the Governor removed because of "disability." Unfortunately for her, the term, as used in the state's Constitution, almost certainly refers to a mental or physical disability that prevents the office holder from effectively fulfilling the duties of the office.

While having to go through appropriate processes is frustrating, our political culture is becoming dangerously wed to the notion that claims of a crisis, whether real or imagined, require the suspension of appropriate processes and deliberations. Thus, Congress rushed to pass a bailout bill providing very little oversight and providing the Secretary of the Treasury with virtually unlimited power.

One suspects that Governor Blagojevich will be removed in the not so distant future. While one might wish it were sooner rather than later, the Illinois court was right to insist that it be done according to the law.


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