January 7th, 2009
01:07 PM ET
5 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. Robin

    The majority has nothing to do with what is legal. Wow, I would not want the majority as a juror for my trial. You have to deal with the facts not your ignorant opinions or emotions.

    Grow up majority!!!!

    January 7, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. California Gold

    Illinois deserves more than a corrupt governor auctioning off this senate seat and then announcing his decision is Burris.

    To make matters worse Burris, who has been the attorney general, didn't even look at his papers to see he needed more than the corrupt governor Blagojevich's signature. Hello! Burris–You are a lawyer yes? Didn't you notice that big fat blank on your papers? Or did you just think your corrupt colleague's signature was enough and Blagojevich had taken care of everything else too?

    Sleazy.

    January 7, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. John in MA

    The Secretary of State in Illinois does not have veto power. Until Blago is found guilty it is his right and duty to perform the responsibilities of his office. The Secretary is a glorified notary public who put the seal on the document as a guarantee of the accuracy of the governor's signature. She is being insubordinate by refusing to sign.
    Before the Senate tries to disqualify Burris they should purify their own membership. They did not throw Ted Stevens or Craig what's his name out. Harry Reid has no more right to refuse to seat Burris than he has to refuse to seat duly elected or appointed Republican senators.
    Burris, unlike one candidate from NY, has alraedy held an elected office in his state. If he wants to accept an appointment from a governor who is under a cloud, that is his business, not ours.
    CNN, the economy is a mess, There are crises around the world. Stop peddling trivial state politics. Many states, including MA, have microscandals. In my opinion these are not very different from the deal making in the Capitol. Cover the important stories!
    cloakroom.

    January 7, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Ron

    As a resident of Illinois, I object to Burris representing us. I question his core values in accepting the Blago appointment.

    January 7, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Gary in Portsmouth, VA

    For those who keep crying racism, this has nothing to do with racism. Under these circumstances, if he were white, green, purple or yellow with blue diamonds he would still need to be seated. He was appointed by a governor who still has appointing authority. If the governor gave out an order for the national guard to act on a matter his order would be followed to the letter so stop the nonsense.

    January 7, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Reality Check PLEASE

    This is utterly ridiculous! By law this man has the right to the seat HOWEVER, the DNC said he should not be seated which makes seance under the circumstances and regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation... ANYONE BLOGO appoints should NOT be seated. At least until AFTER he (Blogo) has been impeached. That said as an American and a woman of color...Ummmmm Why are there no other senators of color??? That way this clown would not have to be seated...

    January 7, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Burris is a fool regardless of his reputation and I see no good ending to his future. He's swimming with the sharks.

    January 7, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Chicago GOP

    Lets just seat Burris and get on with it. When he tries to run in 2010, a republican will take his seat.

    January 7, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Mick in Mesa

    I agree with the Senators. This country is still a democracy the last time I checked so let the people of IL decide who thier congessional reps should be, not some slime ball gov...

    January 7, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Illinois

    To: "Love Huckabee"

    College degree? Really?

    "Cheney and Bush has handle" (should be...have handled)

    "He had nothing to due" (should be...do, not due)

    Your post is full of errors! Stop putting other people down.

    January 7, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Old white lady in Birmingham, AL

    Finally I am in the majority. I was suprized by all the people on this blog that thought he should be seated. I guess they are actually in the minority. IT really doesn't make sense. He made a bad judgment to accept the position in the first place. It is funny how Burris said one thing about Blago before and now that he was picked he is singing a whole different tune. He just comes off as desperate for power. We have enough of that already.

    January 7, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Phillip

    What the majority think is irrelevant. Illinios has a constitution and it is very clear. In this situation it provides for the Governor to name a replacement and not a special election, period. That's why states have constitutions; to deal with situations like this.

    January 7, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. paul oregon

    reid and durbin each will reap the rewards of there actions. come the next senate election. burris cant say this but i can my opinion is
    that this is abount race also im white, retired, and a dem. im sure that others must see the color issue also. what a sad day for america
    when egos rule instead of laws

    January 7, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Ep Sato

    Why do a national poll on this? The only poll that counts is one taken of voters in Illinois. If they people of that state are okay with Burris as their Senator, then the rest of us should be too.

    If you did a national poll asking peoples' opinions of someone like say, reactionary Utah Senator Robert Bennett or the highly unlikeable Senator McConnell, I'm sure the majority of Americans wouldn't think they deserve the job.

    Truth is that Blago's got the right to appoint his successor. Had criminally indicted former Senator Stevens of Alaska won his close race, Sarah Palin would have been put in charge of appointing his successor. Under such a circumstance, rumor had it she would have appointed herself for the job. whether or not we as a country would have been cool with it would have been irrelevant. These laws are written a certain way for a reason.

    As for Senator Reid's comments about Burris being about process and such, that's the worst thing he could have said once race got injected into this issue. The Senate Democrats have handled this issue poorly, and have helped to add to the mounting distractions that are going to cut short soon to be President Obama's honeymoon with the press and potentially the political capital the Democrats will have on the 'Change' agenda.

    Out of curiosity, could the Democrats possibly find less charismatic leadership in the Senate than Reid and Durbin?

    January 7, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Joel

    Incredibly poor judgement from Burris who should have known better then to accept a nomination to the senate by Blagojevich. I think he saw his chance to grab a senate seat and became a willing pawn of Blagojevich's power games. Burris legacy is now tainted by his willingness to reject the moral highground to satisfy his ambitions.

    January 7, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. wakeupamerica

    Burris should be seated per the law. Blago is a jerk but he currently remains Governor of Illinois and has made the appointment which should stand. The law is the law, until someone changes it. Let the people of Illinois vote in 2010.

    January 7, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. chris@stl

    Mr. Burris shouldn't be seated .... Period. I support a special election.

    Why is it taking so much time for IL legislature to start impeachment procedure against Blago?

    January 7, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Steve - Chicago

    What 52% of Americans think on this doesn't matter. Same with the members of the Senate. It's an Illinois issue. Follow the law. In Illinois the Governor has the right to appoint the new Senator. No special election required.
    I suspect that most of that 52% are Republicans who just want to take advantage of the situation and sneak one of their own people into office .

    January 7, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Cindy in Hartford

    The only people who have any say in this are the citizens of IL. The law currently says the Gov. appoints the seat. If they want the law changed they need to make sure they're elected representatives do so. Until that time, Burris is the legal appointee. We need to stop making the rules up according to what political flag is in the breeze at the moment and, frankly, we need to stay out of IL's business. If the citizens of that state are as worked up about this as the politicos seem to be something will be done. If not, that is their business.

    January 7, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. Paul

    It doesn't matter what the majority of the nation thinks. We the people of Illinois have the only say on who our senators are. Although I am from the opposite party this appointment is legal and within the laws that govern this process crafted by the people of Illinois.

    January 7, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. Matt

    New media: Pretend this is a controversy between Blago, the Republicans and the Democrats to stir up readership and clicking so advertising prices are justified.

    Reality: Burris will get his seat once a court orders Sec. of State White to sign the paperwork, but not before, because the Sec. of the Senate CANNOT certify him until that signature is present.

    Result: There is no real controversy and the Dems are acting correctly, albeit on a technicallity.

    The real issue is whether we should like Burris, since accepting Blago's appointment shows bad judgment in light of the circumstances surrounding Blago.

    January 7, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Phoenix

    Corey, most people in Illinois would not even vote for him during a general election. What is that telling you? I'm sorry, the Dems should stop being punks because right is right. Blago was specifically told not to appoint anyone and both he and Burris realizes that they are out of order. I keep telling people, even if the fight seems small, sometimes you must handle your goons.

    January 7, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Sue

    Seat Burris, it's the law. I dislike it when ordinary people inject personal biases and judgmental prejudiceness into things like this. Let the courts decide. Polls mean nothing.

    January 7, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. Mike of Rockville

    The United States Government is a complete JOKE!!!!

    January 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    What kind of man accepts a position under these circumstances? Clearly he is more interested in doing what is best for himself instead of doing what's best for the people of Illinois.

    January 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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