January 1st, 2009
08:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Aides: Democrats have plan if Burris shows up

Senate Democrats will not allow Burris on the Senate Floor if he shows up next week.
Senate Democrats will not allow Burris on the Senate Floor if he shows up next week.

(CNN) - Senate Democratic leaders think Roland Burris, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's pick to fill President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, will likely show up on Capitol Hill Tuesday for the opening day of Congress, according to a Democratic aide familiar with Senate Democratic leaders' plans.

They have prepared a contingency plan in case he does, the aide added.

Burris will not be allowed on the Senate floor, according to this aide and a Senate Democratic leadership aide.

Watch: What if Burris shows up?

The aide familiar with Senate Democratic leaders' plans said if Burris tries to enter the Senate chamber, the Senate doorkeeper will stop Burris. If Burris were to persist, either trying to force his way onto the Senate floor or refusing to leave and causing a scene, U.S. Capitol Police would stop him, said the aide.

"They (police) probably won't arrest him" but they would call the sergeant-at-arms," the aide said.

When asked about what would happen if he shows up and tries to be seated, Burris told the Chicago Tribune that he's, "not going to create a scene in Washington." He added, "We hope it's negotiated out prior to my going to Washington."

Burris told CNN that, "We're certainly going to make contacts with the leadership to let them know that the governor of Illinois has made a legal appointment. And that I am currently the junior senator for the State of Illinois. And we're hoping and praying that, you know, they will see the reason in appointing me as a very qualified, capable, able and ready-to-serve individual."

Coincidentally, the senate sergeant-at-arms, Terrance Gainer, served in the Illinois government at the same time as Burris. Gainer was the director of the Illinois State Police from 1991-95. Burris was the Illinois attorney general from 1991-95.

Senate Democratic leaders, who consider Governor Rod Blagojevich a loose cannon, also have discussed what might happen if Blagojevich shows up on Capitol Hill Tuesday, said the aide familiar with their plans. But the leaders see that move by Blagojevich as unlikely at this time.

This would be a "radioactive" situation, according to the aide, because Senate Democratic leaders could not deny Blagojevich entry, as sitting governors have floor privileges in the Senate. Governors are allowed to walk around the Senate chamber or talk with senators while on the floor, though they cannot vote or formally address the Senate.

Blagojevich is aware he is allowed access to the Senate floor, his spokesman Lucio Guerrero said, but "the idea of going on Tuesday was first raised by a reporter," not Blagojevich.

The governor is not planning on going to Capitol Hill at this time, Guerrero said.


Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. FreeWhiteMan

    What I want to know is why the press and the public seem to think the idea of the senate refusing to seat a legally appointed black man is more interesting than the idea of the entire congress illegally seating a constitutionally ineligible black man for predident.

    Why is enforcing the constitution at the expense of a black man "racist", but violating the constitution at the expense of a black man ok? Seems to me that it is not as much a racial issue as an observing the law issue. Constitution violaters are OK, but constitution protectors are racists.

    What I would like to see is Blago, who has senate floor privileges open the door for Burris and help him take his seat. Then, when Cheney takes out the electoral college ballots to count them, for Burris to be the senator who objects to the Obama ballots on the basis of his not being qualified as a person born with dual citizenship who's US citizenship is far from settled.

    The supreme court has so far chosen not to grant any injunctions or stays in any of the cases challenging Obama's eligibility, yet the right side of the court keeps scheduling them for conference. Apparently, the constitution provides for the congress to remedy any eligibility issues by having one senator and one representative object at the time the electoral college ballots are counted. If they object, hearings are held to resolve the objections.

    The Supreme court has scheduled the next conference for a case challenging Obama's eligibility for the day after the ballots are supposed to be counted. If nothing has come of all this by the 12th, it will become far more likely than it already is that Obama will perjure the oath of office to uphold the constiution and be perjured in.

    It will be very interesting to observe the face of the Chief Justice of the United States as he takes Obama's oath to protect the constitution in violation of the constution.

    January 2, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  2. Heather in Seattle

    I cannot see how anyone could expect to have the confidence of the public after accepting an appointment by Blagovehich. I am not sure what Burris is thinking, this will most definitely cause a blow to his reputation and integrity.

    January 2, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  3. Steve

    I love how the Obama haters are trying to tie all this to him and nattering on about "dirty little secrets".

    I guess that, since the birth certificate "scandal" turned out to be a big fat nothingburger, they have to latch on to something new. Pitiful, really.

    January 2, 2009 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  4. majii

    Watching this drama unfold and reading these comments is better than watching a good movie!
    I'm gonna go get some soda and popcorn!!

    January 2, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  5. Joan

    What a freak! Is he seriously that stupid? Does he not see his nothing more than a pawn in this horrible scheme? How sad for the state of Illinois!

    January 2, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  6. Knucklehead

    Wow. The Dems aren't even seated yet and they're struggling even getting people into office. I'm already expecting less from the upcoming government.

    January 2, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  7. Joe

    Why do Democrats want to deny Burris' appointment. Burris is at least (if not more than) as qualified as then Senator Obama. The fact that over 95% of African Americans blindly vote for Democrats for half of a century whether Democrats represent their interests is very sad. Is it the democratic intention not to seat a single African American senator?

    January 2, 2009 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  8. John

    File the proper documents and let the courts decide. Stop any progression by Burris, through the proper channels, until a decision is made through the courts.

    We all know the Senate has more important matters to attend to, without being bogged down by a decision made from a renegade governor.

    The whole question to this appointment is based on Governor Balgo and his right to fill this position. Is he still the acting Governor of Ill., or has his right to act as such been removed by his criminal intentions? I've heard it both ways. If he doesn't have the right to perform as Governor, then why hasn't he been replaced until this matter is resolved. Seems to me the Judicial System has failed it's duty. This problem should have never evolved.

    January 2, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  9. I'm calling BS

    Burris has a valid appointment from a sitting governor. Even if the Senate has the ability to weigh in on his qualifications, they have to take a vote. They can't deny Burris due process altogether. It's not the doorkeeper who decides if a senator is a senator.

    January 2, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  10. Jeanine

    Blagojevich has decided to play a game of chicken using Burris' reputation. It is hugely unfair to Burris, but NOT the fault of the Democratic party. To a degree, Burris would also be culpable if he decides to go to DC for swearing in with Blagojevich under the cloud he is and knowing how precarious his appointment is from such a man.

    Blagojevich is trying to manuever people like chess pieces, and this reminds me of almost Tudor-like plotting. Burris would be best off staying home rather then finding himself in the Lady Jane Grey position of taking a title in dispute and putting his own head on the block because of the ambition of another.

    January 2, 2009 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  11. barbara miller

    Perhaps he'll awake sometime soon, realize he's a pawn & do the gracious and right thing. The race card – no matter how hard he tries – is simply not gonna fly/nor should it.

    January 2, 2009 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  12. Clintob666

    It would be good forAmerica if Kennedy,Frank,Poilcy, Derben, in fact all the hate blame America socialist bottom feeding toilet dwelling left were bared from air and water boarded but without water use puke.

    January 2, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  13. barbara miller

    For those of you here still trying to link this to Obama ..... why don't you go out this weekend and do some volunteer work for the better good. Shameful that you're chomping at the bit hoping for an incoming President to fail. Don't you realize that he's your hope as well? You've got nothing else right now. In the same boat ya'll. Smarten up for goodness sakes and get out of yourselves!

    January 2, 2009 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  14. Carolyn White

    Help me understand why the senator who was appointed by the sitting governor would be removed from the Senate floor, why would the capitol police be called to remove a senator who is legitmate, when we have an Illegal Ailen who is about to take over the Oval Office, You would think that the FBI and the Immigration police should be called to remove Obama from the White House until he present a Long copy of his BIRTH CERTIFICATE, proving that he is a NATURAL BORN UNITED STATES CITIZEN, now that is a reason to have someone removed from the Oval Office, Senators and Congressmen, you are refusing to uphold the U.S. Constitution by allowing a Illegal Alien to take oath for President of the U. S. I hope all your constituents vote you out the next election. You all are SCAMS.

    January 2, 2009 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  15. Chappy in Florida

    I grieve that a wonderful man of COLOR will nor be admitted by
    the White Folks of the Senate. He is a man of integrity and Honor.
    Moreover, He is NOT a friend of the Gov. of Illinois. Being a supporter of the President Elect, I can NOT understand why just ONE man of
    color is not acceptable on his on merits. Senator Ried, Have you NO
    SHme? Is the Nominated Senator from Illinois not Qualified to SERVE?
    Again Aenator Ried, Have You NO Shame?
    As a Democrat in Florida, is it your intent to bring in a person that you and others feel compfortable? Why is it You wish to keep the Senate AL WHITE?
    This is a SLEAZE job to keep the Senate all WHITE.
    Chappy

    January 2, 2009 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  16. Clintob666

    As far as I know Burris is not a drunk, was not charged with rape, did not kill anyone with his car and was not cought cheating in college. How is he not better than kennedy. A fireman goes into a burning building to stop the fire how is he tainted by the fire. Also what makes Blago worse than Kennedy. A water board for all of them no water pig urine. They should all share kennedys cancer. We should throw all of them under a trank repeal all their laws and start over with the Tem Commandments except this time Zionist Jews must obey the Commandments also. The United States Of America can fail, the scialist left is heading us their.

    January 2, 2009 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  17. jim

    Just perfect! Leave it to the Democrats to prevent the only Black person from taking his seat in the senate. He was legally appointed. Get over it. How Shamefull......Blacks should rethink the Democratic party. They have to proud a history to put up with these racsist.

    January 2, 2009 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  18. Seth Halpern

    It's a legal appointment. This is what blocking elections can get you. But what are Democrats complaining about? Burris is no more of a jerk than any of the rest of them.

    January 2, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
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