Sen. Dianne Feinstein is trying to make sure that if the hottest ticket of 2009 gets any hotter, it could be illegal. The California Democrat, who heads up the congressional committee overseeing inaugural ceremonies, is asking Internet sites like eBay not to sell scalped tix to Barack Obama’s inauguration in January, the AP is reporting.

She is also is writing a bill that would make it a federal crime to scalp Inauguration Day tickets.

“Her staff is drafting the bill now and the senator has said she hopes to have something to introduce some time next week after the lame duck session of Congress begins,” Carole Florman, spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, told WilshireandWashington.com.

The feds are expected to print some 240,000 tickets to be distributed free to the public via their congressional offices. The tix, which will guarantee a place for the holder to watch the swearing-in of the nation’s first black president, won’t arrive in those offices until a few days before the Jan. 20 event. But online reports are already circulating of people offering to sell the tix they anticipate they’ll get for upward of $40,000.

–William Triplett

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