January 6th, 2009
07:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Burris' unpunched ticket to replace Obama

Roland Burris held spoke briefly in the shadow of the Capitol after being informed that his appointment certificate was invalid under Senate Rules.
Roland Burris held spoke briefly in the shadow of the Capitol after being informed that his appointment certificate was invalid under Senate Rules.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Roland Burris was turned away from the Senate floor Tuesday as he sought to be sworn-in as the junior senator from Illinois, because the Secretary of the Senate said his certificate was not valid.

Why is the certificate not valid?

Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson said that since it did not have the Illinois state seal or the Illinois Secretary of State's signature it did "not comply" with Senate rules, in a statement she released after meeting with Burris Tuesday morning.

The certificate was presented to Erickson on Monday by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's chief of staff, and she retained the original copy.

Senate Democratic leaders oppose Burris' appointment to serve the remaining two years of President-elect Barack Obama's Senate term because they say Blagojevich, who is being investigated for allegedly trying to sell Obama's seat, should not be choosing the next senator.

Still, Blagojevich signed the paperwork and sent Burris to Washington. Burris meets with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, Wednesday to discuss the matter.

Click here to see Burris' Certificate of Appointment to the Senate

Filed under: Roland Burris • Senate
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Bob

    CNN.....more shame......No sign of the Burris story on your main page...no sign of it on the Politics main page....you're not even trying to maintain a pretense of non-biased journalism are you....pass the kool-aid

    January 6, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. virginia for obama

    Burris and that crowd behind him looks like a HIP HOPPER going on stage to accept an MTV award. How embarrising. Blago is not using Burris, you can tell this is what he wants to do. Please stop this mess and go home OLD MAN.

    OH YEAH! . . . I'm Black too and HATING every bit of this foolish move.

    January 6, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. The Lady

    Burris what happened to that big fat grin you had yesterday, Mr. Magic.

    January 6, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  4. billy-bayou

    Virginia for obama:

    You claim to be African-American; I doubt very much that you are. You are a dupe that has been suckered into using that meaningless phrase.If you were born in the United States of America, you are an American that happens to be negro. And that is a fact plain and simple. Get off this politically correct feel good garbage.

    January 6, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. Pat

    Meka January 6th, 2009 8:27 pm ET
    Bill Richardson, handled his situation very well. Burris on the other hand !

    Richardson knows he's guilty. Burris is NOT!

    January 6, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. Oh Lord!

    He should not have accepted the nomination. I am black, and I think the race card is utter shame and disgrace. For the only african american to become a part of the senate under these less than honorable circumstances, is not something I think he sould readily accept. Burris is not a person of integrity, in my opinion, if he is pushing for something like this. He seems to be selfishly thinking of his career and not thepeople of Illonois.

    Rush need to shut the hell up and sit the hell down.

    January 6, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. Pat

    Don't blame Burris - blame the spineless IL legislature for allowing Blago to "linger" this long. Typical IL politicians - voting "present."

    January 6, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. ME IN FL


    "What do the Democrats have against a black senator?"

    This is not a matter of white or black or yellow or red or purple....... this is a matter of principle and ethics. Mr. Burris should not have accepted the position, he should have waited.
    Maybe on your side of the border things work out differently!!!!

    January 6, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. Real Deal

    C'mon people see this for what it is.... Burris, though qualified, is letting himself be used so that we all take our eyes off the real deal, that Blago tried to sell that very seat to the highest bidder.

    January 6, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. timothy Powell

    give me a break, I grew up in ILL and this stinks to high heaven. The gall of Gov. Blago. The Senate leaders and the Ill Secretary of State saw fit to prevent the appointment. Feinstein must be nuts or just as tainted as the Burris dude. Lots of people in high places in charge saying no. Enough said. truly so timothy

    January 6, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  11. tony r lawson


    January 6, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. jess

    I, too, am an african american, and I feel that Burris is just using this situation to his political advantage. I personally feel that he is not qualified to be senator of any state and to seat him would be a great injustice to all qualified candidates.

    January 6, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  13. anthony

    There is no law in Illinois that says the secretary of the state is required to certify the governor's appointment. Burris did not get certification from the secretary of state, thus he has not complied with the rule of the U.S. Senate that he must be certified by the governor and the secretary of the state from his state. It is that simple.

    January 6, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. Nelson

    Seat Burris

    Reed needs to go or he will destroy our opportunity. If we are to take advantage of this great opportunity we have we need a change in leadership . Reed has proven that he's prone to side shows that distract use from the major issues. There are to many major issues facing this nation and as democrats if we don't deliver we will have no one to blame but our selves. It tme for a change. Reed needs to go as majority leader.

    January 6, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. Katy

    I am from IL, but don't know what Burris contribution to IL. I vote no to his senator seat. Don't trust Blago's decision. Burris might promise Blago some thing ..... in order to get the seat.

    If Burris is clean and good man, he already declined the appointment / withdraw his name like Richardson, instead of threaten of law suit. He is one of many Chicago's worst crooks.
    Senator Diane Feinstein of Califonia, take your nose out of Chicago, IL. I don't need your opinion.

    January 6, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  16. Texas Teacher

    Willy Brown.... what they just did was exactly what Coleman wanted.... it didn't work to his favor.... NOW he wants something different.... pooh..pooh.... you lost, repubs.... get used to it.... And Mn. is NOT a democratic controlled state... the Gov. is a Republican! You must pay closer attention, my dear.... :)

    January 6, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  17. Simmy

    What 'stinks to high heaven" is the fact that a Gov. like Blago...can't be immediately removed. If they have been investigating him for years, why no convictions before now? To leave a government entity uncovered in such a manner was a "debacle waiting to happen." There is something wrong with the laws that need to be changed. This appointment is legal and binding. Mr. Burris will get his seat in the Senate, oppose all you want.

    January 6, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  18. Texas Teacher

    Julio... at the risk of belaboring the issue.... this is not about race... or gender... this is about integrity!!! Blago is corrupt... therefore anyone he chooses is tainted with that corruption! Simple.... get it?

    January 6, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  19. Wayne D. PA

    You can use race I'm an Afican- American, you have a dirty Gov. and he should figuer that the Senate will react to any thing that Governor dose it is crazy they don't care about the Illnios people.

    January 6, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  20. Necie

    I Agree with "virginia for obama January 6th, 2009 8:15 pm ET".

    The RACE card is being played BIG TIME by Gov Blago and Burris is a Pawn in his game...And I find that offensive.

    Burris should NOT be seated – and I don't feel sorry for him. He knew what was going to happen before he got there...guess what? He went anyway. I think the LtGov should make the appt and we move on.

    January 6, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  21. Texas Teacher

    ACORN... pfffttt! come on.... that is so wrong...
    Get over it.... you lost.. and you do not have a leg to stand on.... and worse.... YOU KNOW IT! :(

    January 6, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  22. Mobius

    Idiot buffoonery and treasonous ignorance in Congress?

    Nice. That's REAL CHANGE.

    Thanks, guys. Thanks a LOT.

    January 6, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  23. Perusing-Through

    In short, Blagojevich called Senator Harry Reid's bluff. Blagojevich punk Reid. Blagojevich & Burris knows the Constitution and the Law are on Gov. Blagojevich's side. Therefore Senator Reid needs to cut his losses and drop this skunk-smelling mess – – – NOW!! The 'Blagojevich-Burris' rotten-egg stinks badly and the only thing Reid has done was to pour accelerant on the mess to make it worst.

    January 6, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  24. Political tin ear

    Burris may have had some smarts and political chops once, but he made a huge mistake hitching up with Gov. "Sellout" Blago. It sounds to me like Illinois has plenty of smarter Black polititicians with better judgment than this poor sap, and that Illinois voters would be glad to send such a person to office.

    January 6, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  25. Perusing-Through


    First, I don't trust that snake Blagojevich and very disappointed Burris did not follow the lead of seven other Illinois Senate candidates who turned Blagojevich down once U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald blew the whistle. However, Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. or U.S. Attorney Lisa Madigan would have been perfect replacements for PE-Obama Senate seat.

    In short, Blagojevich called Senator Harry Reid's bluff. Blagojevich & Burris knows the Constitution and the Law are on Gov. Blagojevich's side. Therefore Senator Reid needs to cut his losses and drop this skunk-smelling mess – – – NOW!! The 'Blagojevich-Burris' rotten-egg stinks badly and the only thing Reid has done was to pour accelerant on the mess to make it worst.

    January 6, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
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