How We Can Get Rid of This Guy

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2009 2:02 PM CST
Embattled U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill. speaks at the City Club of Chicago, Public Policy Forum, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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(Newser) – Even with everyone in sight calling for his head, even after he’s been caught lying multiple times about his appointment, Roland Burris seems determined not to step down. But there is a quick way to be rid of him, law professor Garrett Epps writes for Salon: The Illinois legislature could call a special election, pronto. “It would be the constitutional equivalent of a Hail Mary pass,” says Epps, “but desperate times call for desperate measures.”

The 17th Amendment says state legislatures “may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.” Illinois could direct a special election, then permanently remove the governor’s power to make appointments. We’ve seen too many bad appointment sagas this year, laments Epps, adding, “Every state can fix this glitch by statute, and Illinois should be the first.”