January 7th, 2009
01:07 PM ET
6 years ago

Majority say Burris shouldn't be seated

Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris makes his way to the Capitol on Tuesday.
Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris makes his way to the Capitol on Tuesday.

(CNN) - As Roland Burris gets set to press the Senate Democratic leadership to formally seat him in the chamber Wednesday, a new national poll shows the majority of Americans think the former Illinois attorney general should be blocked from serving.

According to a new USA/Today Gallup poll, 52 percent of Americans think President-elect Barack Obama's successor should instead be decided by a special election, while 23 percent think the second Illinois senate seat should remain open until the charges surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are resolved.

Only 16 percent said Burris should currently be allowed to assume the seat.


Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (363 Responses)
  1. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    The Senate Democratic leadership should check itself before casting the first stone at Mr Roland Burris. How in the world can CNN say that majority of Americans think the former Illinois attorney general should be blocked from serving. CNN must have been smoking something.

    January 7, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. RMH

    It isn't a matter of public opinion . It is the law and even worse
    it is in our Constitution. It doesn't matter what CNN thinks or its
    opinion polls suggest or even what Mr. Reid or Obama prefer.

    January 7, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. Betty

    he should not be able to play the race card to get the seat. the senate does have the right per the constitution to determine if he can be seated. all he is doing is trying to stir up racial tension, like it needs help being stirred up.

    January 7, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. Mike

    I live in in IL and to those saying they want a special election please dontate the funds for that election. I don't want it to come from my taxes...just seat burris.

    January 7, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    What needs to be considered in this case is the Constitution not the laws. Whenever they are in conflict the United States Constitution always takes precedence over the laws. In this case, the Constitution says that the Senate itself gets to judge the qualifications of the member–not just a cold demographic about whether they are a citizen at least 30 years old. It's not just about that, and the Senate gets to consider other factors such as the worthiness of the appointor. It's not a "legal" standard, but a political one–a political standard to be determined by the Senate.

    I hope they do the right thing under the Constitution and refuse to seat him.

    January 7, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Gary in Portsmouth, VA

    52% of the people who think there should be a special election are probably right but this is after the fact. As it stands now the law is on the appointed senator's side. You may not like it but it's the law. I just people would get feelings out of this law is not based on feelings it is based or precedence. Once it is written and sign as a law it is now law. Don't hate Burris he did nothing wrong. You may not like the governor but guess what he is still governor with appointing power.

    January 7, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Tom

    Too much corruption surrounding this issue. Even if there wasn't there should still be a special election, we VOTE for our representatives and I don't know anyone who voted for Burris. To Independent Hillary – The majority may not always be right but welcome to a DEMOCRATIC form of government where the majority rules, you can't have it both ways. If you prefer a oligarchal or dictatorship then I wish you luck in finding such a place. Untill then you'll just have to be satisfied with a democratic republic.

    January 7, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Marv...

    This just isn't only an issue for the people of Illinois; it’s an issue for the rest of the country. This man will be voting on issues that effects the entire country. He might have been an outstanding man before this, but because he accepted the position under these circumstances is of great concern. He has every right to be the IL Senator, but his character is really questionable because of his accepting the position from a Governor who had every intention of selling the seat for personal gain. He may not have sold the seat and committed “no crime”, but his intentions were to make money from this appointment. I said it once and I'll say it again. If a terrorist plans to kill and destroy innocent people, but is stop before his plan is put into action. Do we let him go free because he never actually committed the crime? Anyway, this appointment is tainted.

    January 7, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. Jean, Indiana

    Doesn't matter what a majority of Americans want. What do Illinoisans want and why aren't they getting that done? Can't imagine they want a vacant seat.

    January 7, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    Illinois legislators didn't stop the governor, so according to the law his pick of Burris is legal. Blagojevich hasn't even been indicted yet. And why is Gallup polling America about this situation anyway? Only the Illinois residents' opinions count on this one. They know the players and all the facts, not just what the media wants to focus in on.

    January 7, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. Tom

    Sorry, I meant to say "Oligarchy" not "Oligarchal".

    January 7, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Janey /michigan

    And the Great Obama is silent and voting "present" as usual. The arrogant one wanting to be the only black man of importance. Some leadership from the newly elected Pres would be welcome, but do not hold your breath.

    January 7, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Janice

    I think he should be seated but why in the world would he want to be involved in the mess.

    January 7, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Chicagoan feed up with this garbage

    This is an issue for the people of Illinois. A national poll in meaningless.

    Being a citizen of Illinois I seriously wonder what Burris was thinking when he accepted G-Rod’s appointment and when he went to Washington knowing he wouldn’t be seated. I REALLY don’t like this guy and I’m a die-hard Obama supporter.

    Illinois should have a special election but the Illinois State Congress has so far failed to act because G-Rod has too much power and influence over state lawmakers

    January 7, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. mary, colorado springs, co

    He would have precluded any unnecessary animosity on both sides had he declined the appointment until the legalities of Blagojevich's governship has been definitely resolved. There is the chance, of course, that Blagojevich's successor would not honor Blagojevich's choice, but that's politics. It appears Burris has jumped the gun and has started a fooferaw that may take a Philadelphia lawyer to solve.

    January 7, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. LYNETTE IN CA

    One more thing ...has anyone (Fitzpatrick) been asked if Burris has had any dealings with Blago? He should know this and come out with it if there's a problem. That would really take care of this.

    January 7, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. canuck

    legally he should be seated, morally he should not. burris is a failed candidate, with a huge ego (check out the mosoleum). if he is seated, i hope he looses the election in 2010.

    January 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. joyce

    It is just plain obvious to me: the governor has the right to appoint. No law has been in effect telling him that he is stripped of this right. He appoints Burris. Burris himself has been a lawfull citizen. So what is the problem?

    It is silly! If our elected leaders cannot figure out such a simplicity, how can they lead us through the difficult (and complex) time we are in now?

    January 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Matt

    What's the matter CNN, you don't want to allow a post showing that this is really a non-controversy? That a writ of mandamus is going to fix the signature problem lickity-split and Burris will get his seat? Your so-called experts have avoided the realistic and likely outcome of Burris' case so you could continue to pretend this is all a big to-do.

    Sure-fire way to not get posted: Explain why the issue is not a big deal and scare CNN that people might stop thinking this needs to be at the forefront of the news cycle.

    January 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  20. Enough

    WHO CARES that Burris was selected by Chicago Gov. Slime. Can we get about the business of fixing this horrible economy, ending wars, fixing the educational system. This does not put Reid or Polosi in a great position. Makes them look and appear to be foolish.

    January 7, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Eileen, Burbank, California

    Mr. Burris could have elevated himself by standing up against the Governor's actions (which he initially repudiated) and declining the appointment. But instead, he opted to jump in the moment his name was mentioned, helping not only to validate a corrupt governor but to bring about the circus that has attended his nomination. It's self aggrandizement at the expense of the people of Illinois. I think the Senate should stand firm against seating him. Let a new governor reappoint him if he's the best choice.

    January 7, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Terry

    I must say that nothing about Burris has impressed me so far. The governor is legally entitled to appoint a Senator. I wanted Burris to be so good that he would overcome the dark cloud of being appointed by Blagojevich.

    The public statements that I have seen him make on TV have convinced me that he might be a good city councilman in a small town, but I don't detect anything special about him. I could go to any shopping mall in Illinois and find 500 men just as smart and just as capable.

    Just because Blagojevich has not yet been impeached by a legislature that is probably as crooked as he is should not be sufficient.

    January 7, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. BW

    Maggie SC January 7th, 2009 12:03 pm ET

    THIS BURRIS GUY DON'T LOOK TO SMART TO ME. ARE YOU SURE HE IS NOT AN ALEIN?

    Maggie...let me help you with this:

    THIS BURRIS GUY DOESN'T LOOK TOO SMART TO ME. ARE YOU SURE HE IS NOT AN ALIEN?

    Be sure you say something about a person's intelligence, PLEASE proofread!!

    January 7, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. kshaw87

    words cannot describe how much i despise this man. to bring race into what is clearly a situation that had nothing to do with race, just because he wants that seat makes me ill, and i am black.

    the only people i hate more is gov blagojevich and the media, who seems to be pushing a memo on these horrid ppls behalf.

    January 7, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Ben

    This is to the comment from "Love Huckabee"...before you criticize someone’s spelling; I think you should look at both you spelling and grammar.

    As for Burris, I think he's caught in a situation that is unfair to him. I agree with all the Blago has the power to do this and his issues should not affect Burris. I just hope the Dem's are smart enough to swallow their ego's and take back their statement to not seat anyone appointed by Blago and do the right thing.

    January 7, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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