Qualification for the Senate is determined by age, citizenship, and residency. Exclusively. In covering the admittedly bizarre Burris saga, the press needs to refrain from validating the game the Senate is playing, and report the actual facts. This is not government. One can understand Read’s uncertainty, and why he might want to buy himself some time and political points with nonsense about rules and paperwork. But that’s exactly what it is: nonsense. And the public is better served when the press calls that out.

Daniel Luzer is web editor of the Washington Monthly.