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. boered1

    The majority is WRONG

    we live in a country of LAWS
    we live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty

    The LAW states the Governor shall appoint a replacement to a vacant senate seat
    the facts are GOVERNOR Blaqgojevich has not been CONVICTED of any crime
    the SITTING Governor, still governor enough to call out the national guard in the event of an emergency, still governor to establish disaster areas in the event of a weather catastrophy, still governor to set the date for an election for a member of the house who has vacated his seat, in other words STILL AN ACTIVE LEGAL GOVERNOR, appointed Burris and therefore the Senate has no legal leg to stand on. the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that Congress cannot refuse to seat someone they disapprove of unless that person does not meet the requirements of occupying the chair (in that case it was a Representative). Clearly, with one minor exception, Burris meets those requirements. the exception, the secratary of state in Illinois has refused to enter the Governors selection into the Illinois records will be dealt with shortly as the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled in the past that the Sec. MUST enter into the records the legal orders of the Governor and they are very likely to rule the same way.

    just because a mob has convicted a man does not mean that leagally the man is guilty, and since there is NO LEGAL reason why Governor Blagojevich cannot appoint Burris for this position and no legal reason why the Senate can refuse to seat him he will, eventually, be seated. Luckily for us the US is (or was until recently) a country ruled by laws not mobs.


    January 7, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. LIP

    This morning Gretta on FOX said there is absolutely nothing that can stop Burris from being seated and wonders why all the to do about nothing, so lets get with it and get the job done. I am a Republican that votes like an Independant and I like the guy. So what if he has a Masoleum tha lists all his accomplishments; eat your hearts out folks...he worked his behind off to get there, so let him blow his horn.
    Seat Burris.

    January 7, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. John in Virginia

    It stinks, but the Illinois legislature dragged their feet too long on this. I think maybe they should investigate this move to make sure no money was given to pay to play. But other than that, Blagojevich is still governor and he HAS NOT BEEN CONVICTED of anything in a court of law or other authorized ruling body. Due process requires him to have a trial. As it stands right now, people may not like it, but an accusation is exactly that. We don't need to set any more precedents that undermine our Constitution.

    January 7, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. Rick

    Just reported that the Dems will back down and seat Burris. I hope they plan a thorough investigation to be sure Burris is not involved in Blago's scheme.

    For once I thought Harry Reid might be doing the right thing, but now it's busienss as usual – politics over integrity of the institution. What happened to the improer credentials of yesterday. Did the IL Sec of State suddenly sign and apply the state seal?

    I'll bet the due diligence here is about as good as Obama's vetting of Richardson.

    Just another example of how Dems feel they do nothing wrong. Here's hoping for a filibuster.

    January 7, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. jenbeee

    I hope the dems don't decide to seat Burris. Sure, he's probably perfectly competent, it's ostensibly legal, etc.... but it's a trick! Seat this guy and the republicans will be jumping with joy because they can keep the "dirty Chicago Politics" meme alive. Don't give them the satisfaction.

    January 7, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. welch

    I don't think he should be seated and I am black. It was an underhanded move between him and rod and Burris deserves everything he is getting today.

    January 7, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. kim ferrandi

    Roland Burriss should be seated. I think it was horrible that he was turned away yesterday. I admire governor Blagojevich and his display of leadership by appointing Roland burriss and thus fulfiling his responsibilty as governor of Illinois. How can the senate and specifically Harry Reid not seat the gov.'s appointment? Constitutionally? How Harry Reid and the others attempt to get around that to me is worse than letting it be. For two tears and Roland Burriss has given no cause to question his creditals or character. Did any one stop to cinsider that Gov. Blagojevich was just trying to make a fair choice and he was coming from a place of good character in making his decision regardless of the accusations against him? Having we played loose with the cinstituion enough and has Governor Blagojevich been accused of something so reprehensible ?

    January 7, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. rICK

    I see that the Democrates will override the peoples wishes once again and seat this man because he screamed the sacred word................RACISM, you are white I am black thats why you wont seat me........ I will never ever vote again because your voice isnt even heard because the Representitives that we voted in just do as they please......

    January 7, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. scott

    I wonder where Ried is now? Apparently after starting this whole mess, he has scurried back under his rock. the funny thing is, if Ried would have been a Republican, he would be labeled as a Racist by now. It's funny how those who throw that bomb out there everday against Republicans and Indepedents that do not agree with the Demoncrats, are not willing to use it so freely in this case.

    January 7, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Marcus Allen

    Rick said "Does the law say that Burris can be a duly appointed Senator without the signature of the Secretary of State and without the official state seal n the document?"

    The law does NOT GIVE VETO POWER to a secretary.
    The Secretary needs to be impeached for trying to subvert THE LAW.
    The Secretary is basically acting as a judge and jury and making decisions based on "whims". We don't want "kings" deciding, we want the rule of law.

    January 7, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Stonewall, Florida

    Is Burris accused of any crime thus disqualifying him from being sworn in? Was he involved in attempting to buy the senatorial seat? Prior to this acandal was he not equally qualified to fill that post? Is the governor not legally and constitutionally authorised to make that choice? (accusations or not) When was the governor's constitutional rights revoked making him unqualified to exercise his right? Was the governor tried and found guilty? Why punish Burrisfor being qualified? Based on what constitutional ammendment is the senate acting to bar Burris from the senate? And why should he agree, if seated, that he should not run in 2010? Are there different rules for different ethnic groups who wish to be senators? What is the real reason for not swearing in Burris as the junior senator from Illinois? Just asking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 7, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Lee

    They need to follow the letter of the law. If Burris' nomination follows the law, then let him in. If not, then don't. It should never come down to the status of who appointed him (after all, Blago is still the governor like it or not) or whether or not other Senators like him, or what his race is, or what the public thinks. Especially not what the public thinks.

    January 7, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |




    January 7, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Mari

    I understand that Mr. Burris has not committed a crime! HOWEVER...... here is the problem: since Blagojevich wanted money for the senate seat, and has been implicated in a criminal offense then Blagojevich has ..... morally..... lost his right to appoint any one! That's why people are up set!

    January 7, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. Grey K

    I have not heard of any law to prevent Mr. Burris taking this Senate seat. It will be up to the voters in Illinois to return him to the Senate in 2010, or not, but right now those dimwits Reid and Pelosi have more important work to do and should let this man take his appointed place. ( I am a Democrat who worked hard to elect Barack Obama, by the way).

    January 7, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Democrats Emploding

    This is hard to watch. Ever since Obama was elected President the Democratic party is emploding.
    First Blagovich then Richardson, then Penetta and now Buress.

    The Democratic party has no backbone and will not stand up for their own principles. Just a few days ago their was no way Buress would be seated and now he will be seated. Just like their leader(Obama) they change their mind every on every issue. The party is scared to stand up against people who use the race card in politics.

    This is what happens when you elect a man to be President who has absolutely no experience.

    January 7, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. Richard

    Like it or not, Burris has been appointed to fill Obama's seat according to the law. The Dems have done significant harm by creating this circus. Burris needs to be seated and let's move on. Harry Reid should learn to pick his battles better.

    January 7, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. John in Ohio

    This is one time where I'm in the majority. The appointment was made by a compromised individual. I wouldn't let a suspected child molestor work at a day care while his trial is underway. It'd be no fault of the child or the day care, the individual is compromised in carrying out his duties.

    I hope they remove Blago from office through speedy impeachment, and I hope the feds then try and convict him and send that crook to jail. And if Burris wants the seat, he can run in the special election.

    January 7, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. Kate L

    National poll or not, most Illinoisans DON'T want him. If they did, he wouldn't have lost the last 5 primaries, including for Senator – and for Governor and even for Chicago Mayor. He's a narcissistic egomaniac with visions of grandeur, with a granite monument to himself – even his kids are named Roland and Rolanda. This is the ONLY way he could get "U.S. Senator" carved into his "Trail Blazer" monument. That's why he wants it, even if it's offered to him by the very guy who's trying to sell it.

    January 7, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. Fernandez

    The senate found out that cannot stop Burris, so now they are trying to make a dela with him, He will be seated if he does not run for the seat in 2010. I think it is time to impeach Reed. The Hypocrisy in the whole deal is unbeleivable. It is also time to get new Senators elected in 2010, these guys have been in the Senate too long

    January 7, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. jason

    The seat is tanted and an election should be held to fill the seat. This man has been proven time and time again that the people of Illinois do not want him to be anymore that a state repr. He has run for Gov. and lost and has run for U.S. senate and lost. The people do not want him to represent them in Washington. He will only be seated because he is BLACK and would replace a HALF BLACK senator!

    January 7, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. Changing from Bad to a Disaster

    I love it – the Dems say one thing, then the race card is played and people complain about it not really being corrupt, and then oh, it's all okay. He's fine. No problems or corruption here.

    I mourn for our country with this leadership moving into place.

    January 7, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. Ken in Dallas

    Rick January 7th, 2009 10:39 am ET

    Ken in Dallas,
    Does the law say that Burris can be a duly appointed Senator without the signature of the Secretary of State and without the official state seal n the document?


    Yes. That requirement is Senate custom, but the Senate Rule II says that the Senator-designate may present additional credentials at his discretion. All the law says he needs is the Governor's signature. Illinois law, additionally, does not grant the Secretary of State discretion over whether or not he signs Senate-appointee credentials, so it appears that the Secretary of State's refusal to sign Burris' credentials is unlawful.

    January 7, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Ray Fisher

    Why can't they simply wait till Fitzgerald is done with his part with Blago to seat this guy???

    January 7, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. Rick

    Obama is speaking now about restoring trust in government. Maybe he should consult with Reid.

    January 7, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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