Nate Silver has been following the constitutional tête-à-tête between IL Gov. Milorad Blagojevich and NV Sen. Harry Reid over the attempts by the Gov. to fill Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat.
As Silver sees it, Reid appears to be relying on an expansive definition of "Elections" as it appears in art. I, § 5, cl. 1 of the Constitution. Maybe so, but the 17th Amendment* is more particular when it comes to vacancies, which are to be filled by the "executive authority of such State" as empowered by that State's legislature.
I think if Reid wants to undermine Blagojevich's abilities to make an appointment he needs to concoct an argument that involves the idea that some combination of criminal charges/impending indictment and the Illinois legislature's overtures toward impeachment have diminished the governor's authority to such an extent that renders it insufficient for the requirements of the 17th Amendment.
Because I can't see him having much success grounding his objections on the qualifications of Blagojevich's pick, Roland Burris, based in Blagojevich's various travails. That argument is fallacious.
And, after all, crazy Jim Inhofe is qualified to be a Senator, and even Reid himself is apparently qualified to lead the whole shootin' match.
* Which made the Constitution slightly less undemocratic.
eta: Sure enough, the governor's continuing undiminished "power and authority" is at the heart of Roland Burris's complaint for mandamus* (.pdf; 10 pgs.) to the Illinois Supreme Court (see paragraph 18).
Evidently Burris has altered his position since a couple of weeks ago, when he described Blagojevich as "incapacitated" (that argument got exactly nowhere with the State's high court, incidentally).
* Burris is petitioning the court to literally command his appointment, like they do in monarchies and other authoritarian regimes.