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. James in Utah

    I understand that Blagojevich is under investigation. That does not mean guilty. Until he is pronounced guilty, he still has an office and is legal to execute the duties thereof. If his choice for fill the seat is not qualified then he should not be seated. If his chioce is qualified, and I believe he is, then he should be seated. Anger over the appointment that is legal by law is a sign of uneducated people. Morally, the appointment might not should have been made. Legally there is no issue. Everything else is emotion and has no place in this debate.

    If he had appointed you or anyone else that is qualified, I know that you or that person would have showed up for work just like Mr. Burris.

    January 7, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Rachel

    From Illinois. Burris has been a very devoted servant of Illinois. Get the signature from the Secretary of State (whom has done our state good service, also) and let's get on with this. Are the Repo's so afraid of one seat in the Senate. Burris has a very good record and reputation. I don't concur that anyone from out of the state of Illinois should have any say so what-so-ever. This thing with Blago could last for awhile. In the mean time let Burris do his job and quit the crap.

    January 7, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Daniel, Dallas, Texas

    We are a nation of laws. For better or worse, until (and if) the Illinois governor is proven guilty of a crime, the law states that he gets to make the appointment. The Secretary of State of Illinois is not given discretion as to whether or not to sign the credentials.

    I don't like it, but if we are to be the nation that leads the world then we must follow our own rules, especially when breaking them would be self-serving.

    January 7, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Dog

    Only 16% of Americans thing the law should be followed? Says all you need to know about this country.

    January 7, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. AJ from Austin TX

    Here's what I see: The white democrats in Congress turned away an accomplished African-American. Basically they said, "You are not welcome and you can't use our bathroom" Why not hang a sign outside of Congress that says "Whites Only"?

    January 7, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. MAJ

    Burris should not be seated! The only reputable thing to do under the circumstances is to have a special election.

    January 7, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Joyce

    Listen to the people! The people of Illinois (which I am one of) want to elect their own senator. Combine this with the election for Rahm Emmanuals replacement in the House of Representatives.

    Corey: You have a very good point. This is a state matter...not a national matter. This is our senator, our representation.

    January 7, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    The general public gets to elect their officials, not change the Constitution via polling questions.

    Article 1, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution states, "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members." Section 3 says "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State" and "No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen."

    Roland Burris documentably meeets these age and residency qualifications, and the Senate acting as "judge" of these qualifications cannot possibly find otherwise.

    Amendment 17 of the U.S. Constitution states: "When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies."

    Therefore, Roland Burris should be seated as the junior Senator of Illinois. No missing signature of a trumped-up clerk can circumvent these Constitutional imperatives.

    January 7, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. yellow dog democrat

    watch out (always) where the media leads you......check the facts outside the media circus tent....what do you really know about anything except bits and snips of what we are told!

    January 7, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Reid Need His Meds

    Dumb USA-today reading Americans that don't take the time to think.

    This is a referendum on Blagoevitch ... not Burris.

    The man is still governor, if Illinoisians didn't impeach him, shame on them.

    This appointment is legal ... get out of the way.

    January 7, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Marc

    Erik in Real Pennsylvania, First thank you for bringing up the specific articles of the law regarding the case.
    But, even if it's a lame excuse of the Dems to not allow (for whatever reason) Burris to be seated, procedures are procedures. If (as it seems to be the case) there is one signature missing to help Burris be seated as the new US Senator from Illinois, then he have the whole right to go to the tribunals to have that signature on his papers, and then he can be seated. All the previous US Senators that, like him, were not voted for the seat but ended up appointed by a governor, had to follow that procedure.
    Why it should be different for Burris?

    January 7, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Jack - DSM, Iowa

    I find this poll highly suspect. To think that most Americans believe a dully elected Governor – still legally holding the office and not convicted of any crimes – does not have the legal authority to appoint a replacement as his State's constitution allows simply because the media insinuates that he should not – is outrageous.

    January 7, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Salvice

    It is the awful truth. The checks, balances, and policies of our government are designed to regulate people who are not sociopaths. Blegojavic is a sociopath. Any normal person in his position who had some sense of dignity and honor would have resigned within days of the investigation beginning. He has not. He is still the governor, therefore he can legally still appoint a senator. Burris has been seated legally, end of story. Stop crying about it. If anything be angry at Illini voters for reelecting him. He has been corrupt since day 1 and always will be.

    January 7, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Jazz

    Seat the rat so everyone will know that he is not all that and a bag of chips. Why is this circus going on around him anyway.

    January 7, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Dr. Todd

    Burris should have been seated... Blagojevich is still the governor of IIIinois. This is all legal at the present time.......Burris is a good man and has great record. The Sec of State of IIIinois should sign the documents. Sentor Reid need to eat his words and give Burris a chance.

    January 7, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Maggie SC


    January 7, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Pax

    Danny Davis turned this appointment down first. If that doesn't tell you this is toxic, nothing else will! Burris wants to be a senator in the worst way and it looks like he just might be.

    January 7, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Baze

    Get this guy outta here.

    January 7, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Maggie SC

    Shouldn't one quality be the candadte be intelligent? He looks like someone just off the boat. Perhaps he is from a country we do not know about. Surely if those people in Illinois wants him in they must not be intelligent either but then again I have not seen very many smart people ftom the state of illinois.

    January 7, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. Debbie

    I have an idea - why don't we follow the law?

    January 7, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Wheres Delaware?

    Thanks mr.Dupont for your 2 cents.

    January 7, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Barb

    I'm not the brightest, but I'm confused......are they short of chairs?

    January 7, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. David

    We live in a sad time then when the majority seems to want to go by an opinion instead of the law of the land. The Illinois Sec of State needs to be run out on a rail for not signing. It is toatlly legal what the embattled Gov did to appoint Burris. He is still doing day to day work and the Sec of State has signed other bills that the Gov has since this broke out. Sounds like some political motivation by Sec. White.

    January 7, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Pam, Illinois

    Lets not forget who this is all about. It's ALL about Blago. He's sitting in his office laughing his crooked butt off at the circus he's created. But the laughter will end. Let Burris be seated – he'll forever be attached to Illinois' worst governor – and let the impeachment get underway for blago. That's where ALL the attention needs to be.

    January 7, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Tom S

    It's hard ot make the leap that people responding to an on-line USA Today poll represent the general thought of the American public. It is deceiving to say that the results of a USA Today poll represent anything other than the 'on-line readership of USA Today'.

    January 7, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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