Sen. Dianne Feinstein has shown the kind of toughness and character that it’s a shame more Democrats are not showing these days. Feinstein has broken with her party in support of seating Roland Burris as the junior senator from Illinois to replace President-elect Barack Obama (once the paperwork is complete). Now, obstructionists in Illinois and in the U.S. Senate are trying to stop Burris, but I at least applaud Feinstein for having the character to stand up for what is right instead of trying to play politics and “look good” to the public and to try to avoid giving political ammunition to the Republicans.
Said Feinstein as quoted by Politico:
“I can’t imagine the secretary of state countermanding a gubernatorial appointment,” Feinstein said. “The question, really, is one in my view of law. And that is, does the governor have the power to make the appointment? And the answer is yes. Is the governor discredited? And the answer is yes.
“Does that affect his appointment power? And the answer is no until certain things happen.”
Later in the article, Feinstein alludes to a point I have made in that this could set a dangerous precedent for opposing appointments like this made by governors in the future. If renegade senators (like Harry Reid is appearing to be) and other politicians can decide not to seat someone because they don’t like that person, don’t like a governor or because a governor is in some sort of trouble (how much or how little is up for interpretation) then how far can this go and how widely can this be applied?