114th Congress: We're updating with new data as it becomes available.

OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

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.
>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.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.