January 7th, 2009
01:07 PM ET
9 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. Lewis

    Regardless of how we might "feel" or what "opinion" we hold the law is very clear on this matter. This is a legal appointment. That is not even debatable. I am a Democrat and would not want to see this seat taken by a Republican in a later election, but so what? What I or the Democratic Party want in this matter is irrelevant as compared to our obligation to abide by the law as it is currently written. Don't like it? Change the law.

    January 7, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. John in Ohio

    The Republicans who want Burris to be seated are only supporting it so they can use Burris and Blago as an albatross around the necks of the Senate Democrats. They'll say "You have no legal reason not to seat Burris", but if the Democrats do allow it, they'll use Burris every chance they can as an example of Democrat corruption. Republicans don't care if its legal or not, or ethical or not, they just care that it is politically advantageous for them.

    But I can't begrudge them that. They're as happy about this as I was about Jim Ryan dropping out of the Senate race in Illinois in 04 when his trips to fetish clubs were revealed, paving the way for Obama to get elected. It's a back and forth.

    January 7, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. eugene kudrow

    Who cares? National opinion doesn't matter, this is a matter of law and senate rules.

    January 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Kristin

    I guess it should hardly surprise us that Democrats don't want to follow the Constitution. .–Bill, Lewisville, TX

    You've got to be joking. You can say that with a straight face after we've had eight years of Dumb and Dumber shredding the Constitution and using it for toiled paper?

    January 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Angel

    Rolland Burris by law should be seated and when their is an election we can vote him out of office. Everyone believes this man has a perfect record. This is the same person willing to continue prosecuting Cruz and Hernandez in 1992 for a crime they did not commit which shows you where his morals are at. Go ahead Mr Burris take the seat we will remove you at election time and as for Bobby Rush who is injecting race into this. Get life you hypocrit.

    January 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. PJ

    Roland Burris is a clown, it's obivous in his demeanor. I hope they don't seat this fool, they should leave it up to the people of IL

    January 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Joel

    Anyone agreeing to accept Blagojevich's nomination to the senate ought not to be a Senator because of their questionable morality of not being able to tell what is right or wrong.

    January 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Neutral

    At first I felt bad for the guy thinking he was being treated unfairly simply over the fact that the creep in Blago nominated him. But after seeing his press conferences I can see why the Senate doesn't want him seated. To me he seems like a loudmouth and an opportunist trying to bring the race card into this issue. This kind of conduct may work in Illinois but not in Washington buddy.

    January 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Georgia Moderate

    How ridiculous. It makes no difference what Americans believe. The law is the law. And then there's the law. Burris must be seated eventually. Unless there is evidence of wrongdoing on his part, the Secretary of State of Illinois should sign off on him and send him to Washington. The voters of Illinois can then decided if they wish to elect him in 2010. This should have nothing to do with the possible impeachment and removal of Gov. Blagojevich. The U.S. Constitution gives the states' governors the power to fill a vacant seat in their congressional delegations, not the Senate and not the court of pblic opinion. If Blagojevich is eventually impeached and removed, the new governor may recall Burris and appoint someone else. So, considering all this, The "Bureris Circus" is just that – a circus and a rather absurd one at that.

    January 7, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Bob

    Yeah, but who cares ?! Harry has claimed he will leave it up to the liberal cout in Illinois. That way je washes his hands of it and all blame either way will be directed towards the court. lools like ol' Harry still has Game !

    January 7, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Keith

    As a Chicagoan, and Illinios resident I never voted for Burris and anything he ever ran for in this State. He might be legally appointed to be the junior sentator from Illinois, but he will never win re-election. I find it ironic that the same career self serving Illinois politicans, whom never support Obama are the ones who will benefit the most from his election. People of Illinios wake up we need new leadship, lets get rid of these old cronies!

    January 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. geecee827

    Can the people of Illinois afford a special election in this current economy? Let the guy sit for a year and half and then when election time actually does roll around, pick someone else. He can't do that much harm in such a short period of time, especially because no one will pay attention to him anyway!!

    January 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. guarg

    What CNN doesn't get, and never does, is that the target population for their polls don't count. For example, I live in Indiana yet teach in Illinois. Needless to say, I have an opinion here. However, my opinion doesn't count since he IS NOT MY SENATOR.

    There is nothing I love better than teaching my students how to filter through the garbage on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc. by showing them how to recognize and ignore the 'objective' reporting they get. I tell them my opinion about all involved, show them how I came to it, and then tell them that my opinion is just that and theirs is more important because their vote will be the one that counts in Illinois, not mine. Of course, they all know that CNN doesn't understand the basic concepts of representative democracy.

    January 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. Kevin

    Pretty much an irrelevant poll. The only Americans who will really have any say in the matter are the Illinois voters.

    January 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Annette Street


    January 7, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Rocky

    what a circus! when there are so many other tough problems in this world, we have to focus on this?

    January 7, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. KJL

    I don't think Roland Burris should be seated, but it shouldn't reflect on him as an individual. He's qualified. He has a good reputation. He knows the state. He wants the position. And now he's between a rock and a hard place. If he turned Blago down, it's unlikely he'd ever be a senator, but by accepting he looks like part of Blago's "machine."

    January 7, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Eric

    This poll isn't really relevant since it is a nationwide poll.

    CNN should really be polling the people of IL, since after all it is their decision who their senators should be. My guess is that the numbers still wouldn't be in Burris' favor though...

    January 7, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. Darren

    Why are so many concerned about Burris' tomb?
    Considering it is located in a cemetary that at one time didn't permit African-Americans and now dozens of famous black people are buried in Oakwood cemetary, I think it is a very nice monument.
    There are several people who are still alive that have reserved space and built their tombstones there. Albertina Walker's tomb is there and she is very much still alive. It's called planning people...and at the rate of real estate prices in Chicago rapidly increasing it makes good business since to lock in the price of a burial. I could have sworn when I saw the tomb last year, it was a joint venture between Burris and his wife, a noted educator. It's funny how the media conveniently chooses to leave out her portion of the tomb, right next to his, as well as fail to mention all of her accomplishments that are listed.

    January 7, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. elle

    what legal precident are they following? he was appointed by the current govenor, which under Illinois law makes him the righful successor to that seat. There is no clause in said law stating that if the gov is wacky, corrupt, or under suspician that this power is null and void. Until this comes to law comes to be, Burris is legally entitled to that seat. He should be allowed to stay there until a special election is held for his seat or proof of foul play by Burris in obtaining this seat is obtained and proven.

    January 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Alex

    Who cares about polls. We are a nation of laws, not mobs last time I checked. The appointment was made legally, end of story.

    January 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Antonio from ILLINOIS

    Roland Burris would represent the people from ILLNINOIS. So we should only be concerned what those 13 million people have to say, not what the rest of the country does!

    January 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Gary G

    I can't believe that as American's we continue to allow such behavior and this weasel Burris to become an American Senator under such underhanded circumstances. Burris should not be able to take out my trash.

    January 7, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Griff

    they have seat for you. In the Cuckoo's Nest....

    January 7, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. Michael

    For the record, everyone should look into Burris's resume

    January 7, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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