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An Appeal To Dick Durbin To Let The Senate, and Illinois, Heal

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Message Hargrove Jones

What part of obeying the law doesn't Dick Durbin understand?

The Supreme Court of Illinois said:

(T)he appointment is complete when the appointing officer makes his choice.

To that, Dick Durbin said:

That is of course the Illinois Court's right and responsibility to reach that conclusion, however . . . (it's a question of) whether the actions taken are sufficient for the person to be appointed to fill the vacancy under the rules of the United States Senate where I serve.


When Dick Durbin swore an oath, as part of his admission to the Senate, he did not swear to uphold the rules of the Senate, he swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

But while his comments reveal that he understands that the Supreme Court of Illinois declared Roland Burris' appointment legally effective, his response suggests that when he doesn't like a law, he doesn't obey that law.

As a matter of common sense, a Governor's use of his appointment authority is valid, without the confirmation by a lesser official.

Now, as a matter of the Supreme Court of Illinois, a Governor's use of his appointment authority is valid, without the confirmation by a lesser official.

Finally, as a matter of equal protection, the Senate better check their records to be sure that they have never before admitted a Senator, whose commission was not signed by a Secretary of State.

Does Dick Durbin intends to press the Senate to resist until the Supreme Court of the United States declares that Burris is entitled to his seat? Or, does he want the Senate to keep going until the Supreme Court actually Orders the Senate to give Roland Burris his seat?

This is all so reminiscent of school desegregation . . .

So far, I am aware of Adam Clayton Powell, Julian Bond and Roland Burris, as elected or appointed officials, who had to force the effect of their entitlement to hold office. All of them are African American . .

If justice doesn't move the Senate, then they should be moved by embarrassment at this public display of disparate cordiality and fairness. Remember, Senators stood to honor an ousted felon, convicted of seven felonies, committed while in office. They should at least stand down, to allow the admission of an honorable man, who is entitled to take his seat in the Senate.

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Student of social dynamics, especially as it relates to issues of race and sex.
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