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February 27, 2009

Quinn thinks he can remove Burris from office

From the Chicago Tribune:

Gov. Pat Quinn said today that if embattled U.S. Sen. Roland Burris doesn’t step down within the next two weeks, he wants lawmakers to send him a bill to set up a special election that could effectively remove Burris from office.

Quinn, appearing on “The Steve Cochran Show” on WGN-AM (720), said he spoke to the top two Democrats in the General Assembly today about the possibility of moving ahead with the legislation, which would take advantage of a clause contained in the U.S. Constitution’s 17th Amendment.

Quinn’s actions follow a legal opinion issued last night by Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan who said she believed the state could enact a special-election law that would effectively force Burris from office. Under the Constitution, a governor’s appointments to fill Senate vacancies should be considered temporary until an election is held, she said.