Clinton superdelegate disbarred while awaiting prison sentencing

Just a quick update on the superdelegate situation for the Democrats this evening. Normally we’d be talking about which of the army of superdelegates is backing which candidate or how they might make the process a tad bit more democratic in nature, but this story has to do with who will (or more to the point, won’t) be attending the festivities in Philadelphia. You may recall that we earlier talked about one of Hillary Clinton’s long time friends and supporters who also happens to be a superdelegate, Sheldon Silver. The disgraced former Speaker of the State Assembly in New York was previously convicted of a raft of corruption charges and is currently awaiting sentencing where he could receive up to 130 years behind bars. (A rather neat trick since he’s already 72 years old.)

Now, adding insult to injury, they’ve taken away Silver’s license to practice law in the Empire State.

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is now officially a former lawyer, too.

A state appeals court on Tuesday ruled the 72-year-old disgraced Democrat effectively lost his license in November when he was convicted in federal court of violating federal honest services laws. A jury found that he took $3.5 million in legal fees from clients and then did favors for them that involved his elected office.

The panel of judges in the Manhattan Appellate Division said that by state law, a felony conviction means an automatic disbarment at the time of the conviction.

If we’ve learned anything about Mr. Silver over these past two years, it’s that he really doesn’t like giving up his titles, ranks and privileges. When he was initially arrested and charged, he stepped down as Speaker only reluctantly and after much badgering from party leaders, but still didn’t resign from office. Then, after being convicted and facing forcible ejection from office, he still didn’t want to give up his law practice and position as a member of the bar. Frankly, I’m just hoping we don’t find out he’s a Boy Scout troop leader as well or that could end up being yet another court case.

But there’s one thing they can’t take away from him… his status as a Hillary Clinton superdelegate. The party has no apparatus in place to strip someone of that honor no matter how badly they embarrass the candidate and the rest of the party. And Sheldon seems to be in no mood to give it up quietly. Frankly, if he can stay out of jail long enough on some sort of appeal I’d love to see him show up at the convention to proudly cast his vote for Hillary (assuming she’s not behind bars herself, of course) and keep the network cameras trained on him the entire time.

What a great bit of imagery for the Democrats’ candidate selection process.

Sheldon Silver