From NBC’s Ken Strickland
In a letter being circulated for signatures among Senate Democrats, the members "insist" that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich resign from his post, "and under no circumstance make an appointment to fill the vacant Illinois Senate seat."
In light of his arrest, the letter, written by Democratic leaders, states: "Any appointment by you would raise serious questions."
While citing the Illinois legislature's authority to strip the governor of his appointment power by having a special election, the leadership feels his resignation would be the fastest way for a new senator to be chosen.
If Blagojevich refused to resign and appoints a new senator, the letter makes it explicitly clear that the Senate will have the final word on any appointment:
"Please understand that should you decide to ignore the request of the Senate Democratic Caucus and make an appointment, we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated."
At the end of the letter if reads, "We do not prejudge the outcome of the criminal charges against you... But for the good of the Senate and our nation, we implore you refrain from making an appointment to the Senate."
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