So I do tend to think the allegations against Illinois governor compelling. He’s now picked Burris, an African American former opponent for the Senate seat and is trying to play the race card to get him in. I think Ta-Nehisi Coates effectively demolishes that argument.
What I do find persuasive is Sandy Levinson’s argument:
I suppose it's true that the Senate could/should consider the bona fides of a gubernatorial appointment if there is good evidence that it was procured by criminal means, including bribery. The problem is that there is not a scintilla of such evidence in this case. Governor B. might well be guilty of "attempted sale of the Senate seat," but it's clear that it didn't work, and that he, clever politician that he is, reached out to strengthen himself with a key constituency and, an added bonus, to discomfort many of his erstwhile Democratic Party allies. I don't see how one can mount a good-faith argument against seating Burris unless one is willing to open each and every gubernatorial appointment to some kind of "good-government" scrutiny. Consider, for example, the shameful appointment of Lisa Murkowski to the Senate by her father, the former Senator who became Governor of Alaska. There is no plausible evidence that anything other than nepostism explains the appointment…
If one feels "stuck" by that incredibly stupid clause, with consequences far, far worse than allowing a presumptively competent, if somewhat superannuated Illinois politician to serve a couple of years in the Senate, then I think we should recognize that the 17th Amendment, too, generates a relatively hard-wired rule that limits the possibilities of further Senate scrutiny and the political mischief it invites. (Imagine, for starters, that the Senate is closely divided and that accepting the appointment would change the political control of the Senate (as in 2001) or provide/prevent a "filibuster-proof" majority.)
I’d say seat the Senator and let the Illinois legislature decide whether to remove the governor. In the longer term, I think Yglesias is right and we should switch over all Senators to being picked by special election (absent rather short period of service or national emergency).