It's not as though Blagojevich did not try to get the Senate seat filled another way.
Blagojevich supported efforts proposed by the leaders of the Democratic-controlled General Assembly to approve legislation that would remove the unfettered power of the governor to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat in favor of a special election. But Blagojevich said the legislature's decision not to move forward, left him no choice.
The people of Illinois require representation in the Senate, Blagojevich said,
If I don't make this appointment, then the people of Illinois will be deprived of their appropriate voice and vote in the United States Senate,He also said that he is required to see to it that they get it.
The people of Illinois are entitled to have two United States senators represent them in Washington D.C. . . As governor I am required to make this appointment.According to the Seventeenth Amendment, Clause 2, of the US Constitution, Blagojevich not only has the authority, he has the duty, to appoint a replacement for a vacated Senate seat.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.This duty is repeated in the Illinois statute, 10ILCS 5/25-8, Ch.46, par. 25-8
When a vacancy shall occur in the office of United States Senator from this state, the Governor shall make temporary appointment to fill such vacancy until the next election of representatives in Congress...
The Democrats should not look a gift horse in the mouth. They want a Democrat in Obama's Senate seat. In Roland Burress, they've got it! They want a democrat who will support the democratic agenda. In Roland Burress, they've got it! There's no taint on Roland Burress, unless they put it there.
If Blagojevich is replaced as governor, the selection for the Senate may not be as amenable to the Democratic agenda as is the appointment of Roland Burress. And the worse case scenaria could be a special election, that ends with a Republican sitting in Obama's seat.
Perhaps a judicial advisory opinion could help the Dems grasp the fact that a governor, is a governor, is a governor, whether they like him or not. And thoughtful reflection might prompt the Dems to seat Roland Burress without incident, in exchange for his promise not to compete for the seat when it is available by election. That would give the Dems plenty of time to groom their ideal candidate for the general election.
Trying to control Blagojevich may cause the Dems to loose control of their own agenda. He has given them a gift. They can take it, or they can let the Courts shove it down their throats.