POLITICS
03/23/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Schakowsky: Hold Election Even If Burris Doesn't Resign

Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who publicly expressed her interest in replacing Barack Obama in the Senate back when that process wasn't entirely tainted, is now pushing for -- at the very least -- a process by which she or another candidate could take the post.

From her office comes a statement, similar to one earlier this week, in which she says she "agrees" with the notion that Roland Burris should resign from office but points out that the state doesn't even need to wait for that to happen if it wants another Senator in place.

"While I agree with Governor Quinn and others that Senator Burris should resign, his resignation is not essential for him to be replaced. Under the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, governors only have the right to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. The state legislature can set a special election at its own discretion whether or not Senator Burris resigns."

Schakowsky had made this point earlier. Her office says they are clarifying that the power to hold the election is in the legislature's hands.

A question for legal scholars: how solid is Schakowsky's argument?