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. dan

    This case illustrates why we have the problems that we do in the USA. Too many people think that they can disregard the law when it suits them. Like it or not, this sleazeball is still legally governor, and legally has the right to appoint the Senator. The IL Secretary of State has no legal case not to certify. The constitution says that the Senate can deny someone membership if that person is judged as unfit to serve. The Senate is not saying that Burris is unfit, they are barring entrance because of the person who appointed him. They have no legal right to do this. This is a disgrace. We don't get to pick the laws that we want to follow. The Senate should know better.

    January 7, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. Lynn in NM

    Like that means anything! The only ones that changed, and change, with the polls are the Clintons. Everyone else makes up their mind and sticks to it.

    January 7, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. Burris Should Have Said No

    Despite racial pressures . . . this is about Burris accepting appointment from a governor who said the Senate seat would be sold the highest bidder. Burris's response was dishonorable. The correct thing to do would have been to say no. Probably that's what several others had already done – hats off to them, but not to Roland Burris. He should have said no.

    January 7, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Lynn in DC

    @ AJ in 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"?


    OMG...stop it. What does the fact that he's black have to do with his not being seated? His appointment is tainted by Blago, which the Senate Dem leadership already said they would block...regardless of who was picked, when the corruption story first broke. Thurgood Marshall could rise from the dead and they would block him as well if he was picked. It ain't about color...it's about perception. A Dem governor from our Pres-Elect's home state, accused of selling his former Senate seat? Come on...the Dem leadership is trying to do damage control.

    January 7, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Lawrence

    One should have already deduced, the people of Illinois and the rest of America would like for USA/Today to report the news, rather than attempt to creat news with their "Polled Survey".

    If only the media folks would only get back to providing a real public sevice by reporting the news......but then there are those who revel in fun, confrontation, and Gotcha.

    The phrase "We report, you decide" is a joke.

    January 7, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Mo

    This shouldn't be about national polls. This should be about the law.

    January 7, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. noway

    I bet the whole world is laughing at us.

    January 7, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Veridico

    Polls have no bearing on this matter, the Constitution has. Mr. Burris should take this up with the Supreme Court if it is not resolved, and soon, and I might add, without any compromise. Harry Reid et al right now are defying the Constitution and should be told to back off.
    Mr. Reid has made a mistake and now should swallow his pride and accepts the appointment made by Gov. Blagojevich who is still the legitimate Gov. of Illinois, unless and until he is found guilty of the alleged crime.

    January 7, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Mesa Mick

    I agree with them – Let the people of IL make the selection in a special election and if they don't have the money let the DNC and GOP make up any shortfalls...

    January 7, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Chris Weber

    Public and personal opinions aside, is he legally eligible to be seated? That's all that should matter.

    Public opinion will speak when he has to actually be elected.

    January 7, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. James in Utah

    I know that those of you who were accused of a crime or under investigation, were glad that your employer didn't terminate your job because of the accusation or being under investigation. When teachers are accused of crimes against children, they are put on paid administrative leave until proven guilty or innocent. That's how the system works. Innocent until proven guilty. This is America and if you don't like it, there are plenty of other countrys in the world you can choose to take residence.

    January 7, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. MurphyMorseJohnson

    Since the circumstances involve a corrupt process of appointing a federal legislative employee, the U.S. Senate has the right to weigh in on the process. Until the Senate determines the eligibility of a governor charged with bribery to appoint a Federal official, Burris is not and should not be deemed a gubernatorially appointed federal employee, i.e. U.S. Senator. See Article One Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution.

    January 7, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    the man doesn't have the proper credentials.... what's so hard to understand about this?

    January 7, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. Denise Blasi

    Being a Illinois resident and voter. I think we are the only ones whose opinion matters – not Dianne Feinstein and not Harry Reid. I want an election. If we had wanted Roland Burris, we would have elected him when he was running.

    January 7, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Skip, a black man

    Look in his freezer...i bet you find a bunch of cash??? Can you say DIRTY!

    January 7, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. John Conn

    I think you need to go recount your poll. Seat Burris.

    January 7, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Tolu

    This silly man should NOT be seated under any circumstance. Senate Dems are proving to be a bunch of pushovers; 1st Lieberman, and now this mess. They'd better show their spine this time around.

    January 7, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Liane

    For everyone calling for a special election, blame the democratic party. The Party didn't want a special election. There could have been a special election but the democrats didn't want one because they didn't want to take a chance to loose the seat to a republican. Now the seat selling scandal is out there they are afraid they will loose the seat because any Blago appoints is tainted.

    They should have polled the citizens if they wanted a special election or gone with one anyone. The party dug it's own mess. And now it's trying to circumvent the law and the constitution. I say too bad. The law is the law and if you don't like it than make your prosals and vote on it. That is what the legislature is supposed to do after all, even though most of our congress has seem to forgotten that!

    January 7, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Ken

    There are many who say that, until proven guilty, Blogojevich is still Governor and has the right to fill this senate seat. Here's an analogy:

    Suppose a teacher is credibly accused of abusing their students. Should they be allowed to continue teaching until a trial is over? Or should they IMMEDIATELY be removed from contact with those students, and restraining orders issued? We would find it unconscionable not to take drastic steps to remove any opportunity of further violations similar to those in the accusation. We would NOT wait until a trail to take these steps.

    Blagojevich has been credibly accused of offering the senate seat and other positions, in return for payment. This is sufficient grounds to remove his ability to follow through until such time as he is found not guilty or the charges dropped.

    January 7, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. I smell something!!

    I smell a dirty, filthy rat and his name is Burris! why is this man so desparate to become a Senator when there is so much opposition against him? It's clear that his, soon to be, piers want nothing to do with him. Hmmm, go away you dirty little rat, scoot! MOVE IT!

    January 7, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. Liane

    One more thing, A senator of NV or CA or NY or MN or wherever should not get to choose who represents the people of another state! That is ridiculous!

    January 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. valwayne

    Blagojevich originally agreed to a special election, but Harry Reid and Obama wouldn't hear of it. They both wanted to work under the table to insure that one of their cronies got the seat. Now they have an honest African American, legally appointed, to deal with. We need an end to the corruption in Illinois, and from Obama and Harry Reid. The rule of law needs to prevail, which means seating Burris.

    January 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Veteran in Kansas

    Gee, you know sometimes the majority does not rule. The Illinois Consitution states that the Governor has the sole authority to the appointment of a replacement Senator. Does not say if the Secretary of State agrees with his appointment, does not say if the majority of the state lefislature agrees with his appointment, does not say if the majority of a national, state, or local pole agrees with his appointment.

    Deeds done, its time to grow up. America, land of laws that govern, not opinion polls.

    January 7, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Lee

    Who cares about polls? We are a nation of laws and any first year law student would know that Mr. Burris is the lawful appointee to the Senate and must be seated. The Senate and Mr. Reid are not above the law, although they function as if they are. Whatever one feels about Mr. Blagojevich he has not been impeached or convicted, nor has he pleaded guilty. Clinton was impeached but his official duties were never called in to question. Stevens was convicted and not one Senator called for stripping him of his duties. Craig pleaded guilty and was thusly convicted but continued on as a Senator. As you see, the hypocrisy is staggering. For the sake of the Senate and the Democratic party the leadership needs to back down, seat Mr. Burris and get about doing the business they were sent to Washington to do.

    January 7, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. daniel cabrera

    Well, the good man should be inside, since 'BY TECHNICALITY OF LAW' all is alright.However Raid fundaments his 'NO', on the basis of the apointee is coming 'tainted'.

    Ok, is understandable, 'tainted' is the comon denominator for CHICAGO-CORRUPTED POLITICAL SPECTRUM.

    So, by that line of reasoning, people from there are not to be accepted.But here is the dilema, Obama IS PRODUCT OF THAT CORRUPTED POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE, AND YET, YOU COCOZOIDS, WACKADOOS AND GOOFBALLS DEMOCRATS ARE ACCEPTING HIM FOR PRESIDENCY.

    So, where the blazes are your brains(if any)?


    Ok, take it from there.

    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville, Indiana

    January 7, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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