Saturday, January 24, 2009
Lawyering Up With Blagojevich
You wouldn't think a state impeachment proceeding against a governor would end up being -- in the words of the late President Gerald Ford -- a "long national nightmare," but it's becoming just that in Illinois, where I live.
The latest in the Rod Blagojevich scandal is that he's railing against the "unfairness" of the impeachment process and is threatening to file a lawsuit to stop it. The problem is that impeachment in the Illinois House and trial in the Illinois Senate is not a legal proceeding in the context of the court. It is a political proceeding. Furthermore, the courts have no jurisdiction over this process at all. It is completely a legislative prerogative.
From my vantage point, it almost seems like the Democrats are doing their best to provoke constitutional crises because they really don't like the constraints imposed by constitutions (unless they have a hand in writing them). This is just one more reason why anyone pushing a federal Constitutional Convention needs to be run out of town on a rail.
Our Constitution works just fine. Leave it alone.
Note: In fairness to Rod Blagojevich, I was appalled at yesterday's performance by Shepard Smith on Fox News' "Studio B." During the governor's news conference, Smith was interjecting all sorts of heckling and editorial comments. For someone who is supposed to be an objective news reporter, that's unforgivable. I am no fan of Rod Blagojevich. But save your opinions for editorials and don't do it during a newscast.