* 11:17 AM - I told subscribers this morning that AG Madigan was likely to head to the Supreme Court today. Well, it’s on…
Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court today aimed at removing Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office. […]
In the motion, Madigan argues that given the nature and severity of the allegations against Blagojevich, the Supreme Court should stop the governor from performing his duties. She asks the court to allow Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn to temporarily assume those duties under the Governor Succession Act in state law.
The motion specifically asks the high court to prevent Blagojevich from selecting a successor for the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
Such a motion is untested in the state’s history. The case could determine whether the governor is fit to serve.
She’s about to hold a press conference. Stand by…
* From a Better Government Association press release…
However, the Attorney General’s bold action should not be used as an excuse by anyone in the General Assembly to hold back on impeachment proceedings. Standing by idly while our state’s future teeters in the balance is completely unacceptable. Impeachment is a separate process than the action filed by the Attorney General and both can move forward at the same time.
Failure to act is tantamount to failing to protect our state and its citizens. The Attorney General has acted, we demand the General Assembly exercise its impeachment power as soon as possible.
* 11:51 AM - We learned yesterday of this action. From a press release…
Today four Illinois citizens filed suit with the Illinois State Supreme Court to have Governor Rod Blagojevich temporarily removed from office in light of the recent charges filed against him for bribery and conspiracy, citing his inability to effectively run the state.
“At this time the governor can still appoint someone to the Senate, can still sign legislation in return for donations to his legal fund and most importantly, he still controls the $56 billion state budget at a crucial time for our state and economy,” John Bambenek, plaintiff and co-founder of the Illinois Citizens Coalition, said.
The four plaintiffs, Bambenek, Adam Andrzejewski, founder of ForTheGoodOfIllinois.org, and private citizens John Tillman and Michael Burns, cite their reason for filing as frustration with the lack of action from state leadership in the removal of the governor from office.
*** 11:53 AM *** CBS2 is doing live updates on its website…
The attorney general asked the court for a temporary restraining order or an injunction that prevents Blagojevich from serving as governor. The filing says he is “unable to serve as governor due to disability and should not rightfully continue to hold that office.”
“The pervasive nature and severity of these pending charges disable Mr. Blagojevich from making effective decisions on critical, time-sensitive issues,” the filing said.
The filing asks that the lieutenant governor assume Blagojevich’s powers.
It is the first time in Illinois history that such an action was taken. The attorney general is applying a rule that was intended to cover cases where a governor is incapacitated for health reasons. Her motion indicates that his inability to serve because of the scandal is akin to a debilitating health issue.
“I recognize that this is an extraordinary request, but these are extraordinary circumstances,” Madigan said. “As we learned on Tuesday morning, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald arrested Governor Blagojevich at his home and charged him with criminal conduct that Fitzgerald describes as a political corruption crime spree,” Madigan said at a news conference at the Thompson Center.
Madigan said Blagojevich had lost all his legitimacy to act as chief executive.
“As governor, Mr. Blagojevich’s duty is to do what is best of the people of the State of Illinois, not for himself,” Madigan said. “In light of his arrest and the filing of the criminal complaint, Governor Blagojevich can no longer serve and fulfill his duties with any legitimacy.”
The state Supreme Court has discretion about whether to hear the case, Madigan said. She added that while she encourages state lawmakers to “move forward with impeachment proceedings, the impeachment proceedings will take time.”
* 12:17 PM - From the AP…
In the filing, Madigan contends Blagojevich is unable to distinguish between his financial interest and his official duties and between legal conduct and illegal acts.
* This is the private citizen complaint mentioned above…