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Gov. Blagojevich: Unfitness Motion?

 
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 02:01 pm
Illinois attorney general asks court to act on governor

Quote:
(CNN) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Friday asked her state's highest court to remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich temporarily from office.

Madigan's office also asked the Illinois Supreme Court to strip Blagojevich of duties, including appointing Obama's Senate replacement.

"I recognize that this is an extraordinary request, but these are extraordinary circumstances," Madigan said at a news conference Friday.

Madigan said wants Blagojevich out of office because -- given the charges against him -- she does not think he can do his job. The court filing asks that Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn become acting governor.

"As governor, Mr. Blagojevich's duty is to do what is best for the people of the state of Illinois, not for himself," Madigan said.

The Illinois Legislature is scheduled to convene in a special session Monday. Madigan said she encourage lawmakers to move forward with impeachment proceedings.

"In the interim, state government is paralyzed by a governor who is incapable of governing. My action will not eliminate the need for impeachment or trial," she said. . . .


Does the JUDICIAL Branch have the power to remove the state's highest elected officer in the EXECUTIVE Branch from public office pending the resolution of criminal charges or possible impeachment proceedings?

I don't think so. I believe that the Court will rule that it is not constitutionally authorized to remove the Governor from office based on an allegation of unfitness (disability) which, in turn, is premised on allegations of official misconduct. If Blagojevich refuses to resign, I believe the only way for his opponents to get him out of office is to follow established impeachment procedures. The HOUSE (not the Judicial Branch) has exclusive constitutional authority to determine whether cause exists for removal proceedings and the SENATE (not the Judicial Branch) has exclusive constitutional authority to try allegations of misconduct and to determine whether the governor shall be removed from office.

Article IV of the Illinois State Constitution provides the following:

SECTION 14. IMPEACHMENT

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.


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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 2,078 • Replies: 21
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djjd62
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 02:07 pm
i say they should lock him in a room with a good sturdy beam and a length of rope, and not open the door until he does what's appropriate

and then continue to do the same with every politician on the planet
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 02:31 pm
@Debra Law,
Hey Debra! I'm no expert on law but it seems to me the guy was just trying to make a few extra bucks by influence peddling and selling things he doesn't own. Haven't we all done that? If we indict this man then shouldn't we indict the entire United States of America? If we indict every corrupt politician, judge, police officer and even meter maids then there will be no one left to run the country and anarchy will prevail!

Damn, I should have been a lawyer. I almost believed myself!
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 04:33 pm
The documents: Madigan's case for Blagojevich's removal

"Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan has called on the Illinois Supreme Court today to temporarily remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office and appoint Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn as acting governor, "so the business of the state of Illinois can go forward."

"Among the documentation provided by her office:

Motion for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction


The brief


The supporting record


Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 05:22 pm
@Debra Law,
I agree. I don't see where the judicial branch has any jurisdiction over the executive branch, absent a criminal indictment, i.e. impeachment. Impeachment has to come first. But, that said, shouldn't the attorney general of a state know the law better than anybody? So is this just a nudge to the legislative branch to urge impeachment?
0 Replies
 
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 05:35 pm
@djjd62,
I was with you yesterday when you said the same thing about the missing little girls' mother. But this one? Nah.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 05:47 pm
@Debra Law,
I didn't read the links, Debra, but my understanding is that she wants the IL Supreme Court to deem him "disabled" not simply unfit. There apparently is justification for the ILSC to declare a governor disabled and therefore unable to lead resulting in his powers being set aside until such time as he is deemed "fit".

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081212/ap_on_re_us/illinois_governor

Agreed-- it's a reach.

okie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 05:48 pm
What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Are we going to treat this guy worse than the people at Gitmo?
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 05:54 pm
The Attorney General's Argument at Page 11 of the Brief:

Quote:
Argument

This Court should declare that Mr. Blagojevich is currently disabled from serving as Governor. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Governor shall be replaced by a successor if he "is unable to serve because of death, conviction on impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation or other disability." Ill. Const. Art. V, Sec. 6(b); see 15 ILCS 5/1 (2006). The determination of the Governor's ability to serve under this provision is a matter for this Court to decide. Ill. Const. Art. V, Sec. 6(d).


The AG is misrepresenting the content of the Constitution. The Court was NOT constitutionally delegated the authority to determine the Governor's ability to serve. The LEGISLATURE was constitutionally authorized to MAKE A LAW and it is that law and its application that is reviewable by the Court. See Illinois Constitution Article V, Section 6, entitled "Gubernatorial Succession":

SECTION 6. GUBERNATORIAL SUCCESSION

(a) In the event of a vacancy, the order of succession
to the office of Governor or to the position of Acting
Governor shall be the Lieutenant Governor, the elected
Attorney General, the elected Secretary of State, and then as
provided by law.

(b) If the Governor is unable to serve because of death,
conviction on impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation or
other disability, the office of Governor shall be filled by
the officer next in line of succession for the remainder of
the term or until the disability is removed.

(c) Whenever the Governor determines that he may be
seriously impeded in the exercise of his powers, he shall so
notify the Secretary of State and the officer next in line of
succession. The latter shall thereafter become Acting
Governor with the duties and powers of Governor. When the
Governor is prepared to resume office, he shall do so by
notifying the Secretary of State and the Acting Governor.

(d) The General Assembly by law shall specify by whom
and by what procedures the ability of the Governor to serve
or to resume office may be questioned and determined
. The
Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction
to review such a law and any such determination and, in the
absence of such a law, shall make the determination under
such rules as it may adopt.
(3) His or her becoming a person under legal disability.
Quote:
The term "disability" in Sec. 6(b) is unambiguous. A "disability" is a "disabled condition" or "that which disables or disqualifies." Webster's New World Dictionary 175 (Warner Books ed. 1987). To "disable" is to "make unable, unfit, or disqualified," id., or "to take away the ability of, to render incapable of proper and effective action," Black's Law Dictionary 548 (Rev. 4th ed. 1968).


However, the Illinois courts have defined the term "legal disability" to mean the following:

Quote:
A person suffers from a "legal disability" where he or she is "entirely without understanding or capacity to make or communicate decisions regarding his person and totally unable to manage his [or her] estate or financial affairs." Estate of Riha v. Christ Hospital, 187 Ill. App. 3d 752, 756, 544 N.E.2d 403 (1989). In a case where a legal disability is alleged, the record must contain sufficient allegations of fact from which one could conclude that the person seeking to be found legally disabled was incompetent or suffered from serious mental disorder which made that person entirely without understanding or capacity to make or communicate decisions regarding his person and totally unable to manage his estate or financial affairs. Sille v. McCann Construction Specialties Co., 265 Ill. App. 3d 1051, 1055, 683 N.E.2d 676, 679 (1994).


http://www.romingerlegal.com/illinois/illinois_caselaw_2/1974643.htm

If the Lieutenant Governor determines that the facts are sufficient to conclude that the Governor is incompetent or suffered from a serious mental disorder which makes him entirely without understanding or capacity to make or communicate decisions or to manage the governorship, then the Lieutenant Governor may declare that the Office of the governor is statutorily "vacant" until such time as the legal disability is removed and the Lieutenant Governor may assume the duties as the acting governor. Under the constitutional provision cited by the AG, the Lieutenant Governor's application of the law and his determination can be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

Again, the AG is misrepresenting the law when she claims that the Illinois Supreme Court has constitutional authority to determine the governor's fitness to remain in office.











0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 06:03 pm
My guess is that she's making a statement to the legislature that she's going to parallel path their efforts to remove him -- just as Harry Reid has done.

Rod's gonna hear from three sides (IL AG, IL legislature, US Senate) that he better not name anyone to this seat (particularly himself) in the next few days.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 06:17 pm
@JPB,
JPB wrote:

I didn't read the links, Debra, but my understanding is that she wants the IL Supreme Court to deem him "disabled" not simply unfit. There apparently is justification for the ILSC to declare a governor disabled and therefore unable to lead resulting in his powers being set aside until such time as he is deemed "fit".

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081212/ap_on_re_us/illinois_governor

Agreed-- it's a reach.




Being accused of a crime and/or official misconduct is not a DISABILITY no matter how far the AG desires to stretch the meaning of the word. The AG is seeking to establish a dangerous precedent that would put every elected official in the state at great risk of being "temporarily" removed from office when an accusation is made and thereafter deprived of that office until the taint of the accusation has been removed. In other words: GUILTY until proven innocent. That isn't the way we do things in this country regardless of the unsavory target. We might think Blagojevich is slime, but he's entitled to due process of law.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 06:43 pm
@Debra Law,
The point being made by the AG, imo, is that the current IL Constitution does not have a mechanism for a recall. The idea of a Constitutional Convention was on the ballot this year, as required by statute every 10 years. Those who were opposed were opposed on the basis of cost. Those who were "for" were for explicitly for the purpose of modifying the IL Constitution to allow for a recall vote of the gov.

Rod doesn't have a whole lot of friends....

His approval rating is 8%

He needs to go.

In my opinion, Ms Madigan is willing to lose this argument. She's got one eye on the Senate seat and another eye on Rod, the people, the IL Legislature, Obama, etc. She's making a statement. I don't think it's a cross she wants to die on.
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 09:17 pm
The inability to tell right from wrong, sociopathic behavior, might be defined as a 'disability'.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 12:02 am
@JPB,
Ah... I see what she's doing (I think).

She's paralyzed the Comptroller's Office by petitioning to have him called disabled and therefore unfit to govern. The state can't pay it's bills until the Legislature boots his butt and Pat Quinn takes over. The Legislature will move quickly. Perhaps more quickly than it would have otherwise. Welcome to IL politics.

Quote:
The scandal has also begun to impede state business, Madigan said.

Illinois has billions of dollars in unpaid bills, including payments to Medicaid patients, hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes and schools, and the state has approved $1.4 billion in short-term borrowing to keep cash flowing. But before the borrowing takes effect, Madigan said she has to certify that there is not any legal proceeding threatening the ability of the governor to hold his office.

In light of Friday's filing by her office, Madigan said she can't sign that.

"We will not be able to move forward on it until we have a different governor," Comptroller Dan Hynes said.

The state's inability to pay the bills has "a horrible ripple effect," the comptroller said. He said that pharmacies that count on state reimbursements could shut down, and suppliers could stop delivering food to Illinois prisons or letting state troopers buy gasoline. Businesses waiting for the state to pay its bills could lay off workers or simply go bankrupt, Hynes said.

"If our backlog gets worse, people are going to stop providing services," he said.source


Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 01:40 am
@JPB,
JPB wrote:

Ah... I see what she's doing (I think).

She's paralyzed the Comptroller's Office by petitioning to have him called disabled and therefore unfit to govern. The state can't pay it's bills until the Legislature boots his butt and Pat Quinn takes over. The Legislature will move quickly. Perhaps more quickly than it would have otherwise. Welcome to IL politics.

Quote:
The scandal has also begun to impede state business, Madigan said.

Illinois has billions of dollars in unpaid bills, including payments to Medicaid patients, hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes and schools, and the state has approved $1.4 billion in short-term borrowing to keep cash flowing. But before the borrowing takes effect, Madigan said she has to certify that there is not any legal proceeding threatening the ability of the governor to hold his office.

In light of Friday's filing by her office, Madigan said she can't sign that.

"We will not be able to move forward on it until we have a different governor," Comptroller Dan Hynes said.

The state's inability to pay the bills has "a horrible ripple effect," the comptroller said. He said that pharmacies that count on state reimbursements could shut down, and suppliers could stop delivering food to Illinois prisons or letting state troopers buy gasoline. Businesses waiting for the state to pay its bills could lay off workers or simply go bankrupt, Hynes said.

"If our backlog gets worse, people are going to stop providing services," he said.source




I agree that Madigan has no one to blame but herself for paralyzing the Comptroller's office. She made the allegedly required certification impossible by filing the lawsuit. Then she urged the Court to remove Blagojevich because the state allegedly can't pay its bills until she signs the certification. How is that Blagojevich's fault? Madigan placed that contrived argument in her motion.

Additionally, the governor isn't personally responsible for the borrowed funds. What difference does it make to the creditor whether Blagojevich retains his office? Regardless of who may be in office, the STATE approved the borrowing and must repay the short term loan.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 08:08 am
I think JPB is right in suggesting that what the AG is doing is sending a message to the legislature. She probably doesn't expect to win her case in court. But at this point -- in her presumed view, not necessarily mine -- the more pressure put on, the better.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 08:20 am
@Merry Andrew,
Right -- I think it was intentional. She's not casting blame so much as she's playing whatever cards she can play.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 08:45 am
I think it's fairly clear to all here that the AG's case involves a serious stretch of a law designed to deal with physical or mental impairment, and not matters such as the one at hand. While her action certainly does add significantly to the political pressure on the governor to resign or relinquish his powers, it also imposes adverse side effects on others (the state's creditors & suppliers) who in general have no role in the governor's various schemes & crimes.

All of this is justified by supposed moral outrage over the corruption of a governor who stands out in the political milieu from which he arose only by the blunt and direct manner in which he plays his game. One could perhaps ask the AG if she ever before had any suspicions or evidence of such venality and corruption on the part of the governor or other public officials and what, if anything, she did about it then (the same principal applies to our sainted President-elect).

In my book this is a fairly clear misuse of the law by an elected official who is probably at least morally complicit in the very issues that cause her present outrage by her past silence and inaction in the face of what everyone in the political scene knew was going on.

The whole thing is a sad, unseemly affair. The AG's actions very likely involve a little self-serving "piling on", designed to make herself look good. (Don't they all look like roaches scurrying for cover after the box under which they were feeding is lifted.) More importantly they involve a misuse of the law she is responsible to enforce. She is part of the problem here: not the solution.

0 Replies
 
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 01:23 pm
@okie,
I think his phone conversations pretty much tell the story on that tip, okie. The question isn't whether he's dirty but just how many layers of dirt are there.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 01:55 pm
MSNBC is reporting that the Ilinois Supreme Court rejected Madigan's filings.
0 Replies
 
 

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