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Commentary: Illinois governor should be suspended pending trial

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  • Brown: Gov. Rod Blagojevich still has power to appoint Obama successor
  • Brown says that's preposterous given the charges against him
  • Brown: He's innocent until proven guilty, but there should be limits on his power
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By Campbell Brown
CNN
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Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Thursday night's broadcast.

CNN's Campbell Brown notes that police officers facing charges are suspended from active duty.

CNN's Campbell Brown notes that police officers facing charges are suspended from active duty.

(CNN) -- Let's establish one thing at the outset. Of course, the governor of Illinois is innocent until proven guilty.

That is a bedrock principle of American law and applies in this case as surely as in any other.

All the things we've been talking about are allegations.

The whole point of a criminal trial is to settle beyond a reasonable doubt whether the things that have been alleged are in fact true. So, yes, the governor of Illinois is innocent. Video Watch Campbell Brown's commentary »

But it is preposterous, outrageous really, given the charges against him, that Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich is still in a position to name Barack Obama's successor as junior senator from Illinois.

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I mean, when police officers are facing serious charges, they are routinely suspended from active duty pending resolution of the charges against them.

They are innocent until proven guilty, sure. But common sense dictates that no dangerous chances be taken while the jury is out. Shouldn't that be the case here, too?

How can it happen that a man accused of trying to sell a seat in the United States Senate still has the right, if not to sell that seat, to legally give it away?

Imagine having Rod Blagojevich come out today to announce that you are Illinois' next senator? Talk about the kiss of death. At this point, I'll bet he could make out like a bandit soliciting handsome fees not to name people senator.

Back, though, to the important thing, the presumption of innocence.

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It is sacrosanct, but the system should incorporate some mechanism, something, to keep a figure facing extraordinary charges from doing harm while those charges are being investigated.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Campbell Brown.

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