Friday, January 02, 2009

REACT: White's blocking of a black is not a black and white issue.

Jesse White (below left) has been a pretty good Illinois Secretary of State, by most measure, but in the matter of the appointment of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris as the replacement for President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate, the guy made a bad call – a very bad call.

Basically, it is the job of the Secretary of State to file the paperwork when the Governor exercises his exclusive constitutional authority to make an appointment, as in the case of Obama’s replacement.

For reasons that can only be described as personal or political, White announced that he would refuse to sign off on the paperwork in order to block the appointment. Nowhere in the Illinois Constitution is there a provision granting the Secretary of State a check on gubernatorial appointments – and well there should not be.

In refusing to file the paperwork, White is violating his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and usurping the authority of not only this flawed governor, but potentially all future governors. It is a dangerous precedent.

In the interest of the public and the republic, let’s hope that the Illinois Supreme Court will swiftly order White to do his administrative job and file the paperwork.

This has nothing to do with the allegations against the Governor, or his dismal level of popularity. It has everything to do with the rules that must stand firm against arbitrary disobedience. It is often said, we are a nation governed by laws and not by the whim of men. Which is it to be?

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