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The Senate Gets Final Say

December 24, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Not very likely, but Fox News reminds us of a frightening scenario for filling the Senate’s still-vacant seats:

>While the scenario seems far-fetched, Article I, Section 5 of Constitution holds that “Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members.”
>
>In other words, if Minnesota certifies either Norm Coleman or Al Franken the winner, a bloc of senators could object on the Senate floor to seating him. The same could happen if embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appoints a “tainted” successor to Obama.

If that happens, it could mean months, not weeks, for Congress to get that massive economic rescue package to Obama for his signature.

>A review of the election of Sen. Theodore Bilbo, D-Miss., tied the Senate in knots in early 1947. Bilbo was accused of corruption. Sen. Glen Taylor, D-Idaho., demanded the Senate settle the ethics issues before seating Bilbo.
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>Taylor’s actions stymied the Senate. Senators couldn’t elect party leaders or even a president pro tempore — the position third in line to the presidency. In fact, the secretary of Senate presided over the body for weeks.

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