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. manhandler

    The Dems. have screwed up by turning this into a circus. If it goes to the courts, he will be seated. The Gov. hasn't been convicted of anything yet and has the right to appoint him. By all accounts, this is a good, accomplished man who had nothing to do with what the Gov. supposedly did. The reason the majority of Americans are against him being seated is because, as usual, they listen to sound bites on their tubes and don't bother to think anything through.

    January 7, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. PaulMoATX

    Who cares what the poll says, seriously. It's what the law says. The law clearly states that Burris should be seated. Period.

    January 7, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Lynn

    If there is no existing valid legal reason Roland Burris is unable to be seated as the junior Senator from Illinois he should be seated without conditions. We need to discontinue the practice of “interpreting” laws to coincide with a predetermined agenda. Regardless of the less than ideal circumstances surrounding his appointment, Mr. Burris has done nothing wrong.

    January 7, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. PaulMoATX


    You're an idiot, Maggie. Didn't your mother ever tell you to not judge a book by its cover? Didn't think so.

    January 7, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Lydia McCormick

    As long as the Governor has his seat he allowed to do this so just let Burris in the Senate. Move on to whats more important.

    January 7, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Jim

    Sorry folks but Burris was legally appointed. The fact that he is "tainted" by the governor shouldn't stop the appointment. We can't, and shouldn't, pick and chose the laws to follow whenever they suit us best. If he truly is the right person for the state of Illinois his actions will prove it.

    January 7, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Obama's Way Better Than Bush

    Why don't they just seat Burris.I kinda felt sorry for the guy just getting kicked in the butt out in the rain.It's not his fault Blago is crooked.Reid & the dems don't have a leg to stand on legally anyway.

    January 7, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Melissa

    This has nothing to do with race. The people that bring up race in this instance are the people that are keeping all races from coming together. Why must you bring it up, when it obviously has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT? The real man in question is the WHITE gov. from Illinois. Should we hang a sign that says "no white men from Illinois." Shame on your for bringing race into it!!!

    January 7, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. obama-mama

    AJ from Austin TX January 7th, 2009 11:48 am ET

    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"?
    WTH....I'm African American and that is crazy....Blago only picked Burris to start this nonsense for distraction. This whole thing stems from what Blago tried to do. Just the tapes alone should be enough to suspend foul mouth Blago of his Governor duties.. Burris is a little too desperate if you ask me.

    January 7, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. chitown lady

    I for one pray he isn't......a message needs to be sent. this isn't about race.......Bobby Rush is another BLAGO lover....Two face racist......They need to look into his stuff to see how much got tossed to him...Millions from what I read...Yeah he is soooo innoncent.......Please. I will NEVER vote in Illinois again if they do not stick to their guns and NOT SEAT HIM.......Blago is corroupt the whole darm state is CORRUPT.....Will someone stick up for us people who live here? I will NEVER NEVER accept Burris as my senator. mI see him as nothing more but PAWN. He is being used and is too vain to realize it.........What a smuck, What kinda legacy is that.....Being used cause your black.......Thats what Blago did............I am tired of ILLINOIS politics. SICK of them....Maybe you all need go. Thiusx whole thing is a joke.....Illinois is a JOKE....Blago is laughing all the way to his campaign funds......WOW! If they allow this, I for one will NEVER vote in Illinois again......Im done.....Our say does not count.....Most likely NEVER did..........

    January 7, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Kyle

    People keep citing the law. I'm no law person but I've read of other laws that prohibit him from taking the seat.

    January 7, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. 13 Days To Go

    It is the decision of the voters of Illinois and not the decision of "all Americans". A poll of their views is the only one that matters!

    January 7, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Matzah

    Gov. has sold the seat as he wanted. The "price" this time... to distract the media from his corruption to this circus. Burris has paid the price in full. Burris is either a amoral opportunist or a fool... neither trait will serve the people of Illinois well.

    January 7, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. steve

    since when do "polls" have any kind of real-world relevance?

    January 7, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Steve

    I'm not sure why there is even a poll... according to the law he should be made senator. Sure, he's a crook, and so is Blago, and so is Obama.... the only difference is they WON their polls.

    January 7, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. Mike

    So what should we take from a national poll? I thought Senators were selected within the states. I don't think al Franken should be a Senator either, but it is not my call; it is the Minnesota voters'. Why doesn't CNN spend its time instead saying something rational.

    January 7, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. gene holmes

    I to do not believe burris should be a loud to serve in the senate. I think the only reason he was considerd was because he is black. Also I can't understand when they want equal rights that there the ones to yell discrimination first. when will the white population get it through there heads and start claiming reverse discrimination.

    January 7, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Blayze

    If he really wanted to impress voters, he would have refused the appointment publicly and ask the Illinois senate to choose a replacement. That way he probably would have been chosen anyway AND he would have looked good to the voters. A politician should be more intelligent than this, even a scoundrel politician should.

    January 7, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. Ted:Canada

    get Blago out first!

    then consider Burris!


    While the Democrats can't quickly remove Blago from office – they can remove him as a "Democrat" – i.e. being a party member – this would force him to file as an "Independent "- it is doubful that the Republicans will take him...

    this is a first "big step" in getting him out both politically and symbolically

    January 7, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. Ron - Saint Louis

    First, this isn't a national debate, this is something that belongs to the citizens of Illinois. Let them decide how to handle this.

    Second, Gov. Blago has been accused of a very serious crime. While some might think that you are innocent until proven guilty, Gov. Blago has lost the trust of the citizens of Illinois and therefore cannot fully carry out his duties. You might think it wrong but stand behind a teacher and defend them next time they are accused of inappropriately touching children and tell everyone that it is their right to keep their job until the courts say otherwise. (For those that argue that safety is not at risk, remember that Gov. Blago was taped soliciting money from people. Do you not think our rights, public safety, and taxes are at risk from such shady people willing to buy their position?).

    Again, let the great people of Illinois fix their own house and tell the media to turn their cameras back on Gov. Blago. His appointment of Mr. Burris was only done as a distraction from himself.

    January 7, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Justin from KSU

    Senator Reid is off his meds.

    While they are trying to impeach the IL Gov, they need to impeach the IL Secretary of State while they are at it.

    The IL Gov is STILL Gov and this is a legal appointment!


    January 7, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Jonathan

    What is really offensive is that Burris doesn't care what so ever about the "smoking gun" evidence against Blago and how obvious his guilt is. Innocent until proven guilty, but only to a point. We don't let murderers run around until "proven" guilty. So why should a slimmy scumbag like Blago be allowed to do work that affects the Nation after such obvious evidance against him is revealed.

    January 7, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Fred Sloan

    Regardless of what you might think otherwise,the appointment meets the requirement of the constitution and laws. Mr. Burris also appears to be a man of integrity and good intellect. He should be seated and I say this as one who would rather see a Republican in the seat. I believe it likely, given the state of Illinois politics, that a Republican would be elected. Too many people ,including our elected losers, are allowing their feelings(politics or other ) to determine the result they believe is appropriate. My feelings are irrelevant-the law alone is relevant.

    January 7, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. gerald mcelfresh

    burris should not be seated,to many question marks already against him.he has not earned it.even when blago resignes he still should not be seated.

    January 7, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Pennie Johnson

    Burris didn't do what Barack did to win the seat. Why should he ride in on Barack's coattails? He's being used by Blago and EVERYBODY knows it. I hope the Senate, should they seat him, continue to snub him.

    January 7, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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