CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – Veteran Illinois politician Roland Burris headed to Washington for his official Senate swearing-in Thursday afternoon.
"It's called faith. And we knew that we were in the right. The law was on our side. And all we had to do was prevail," he said of his political struggle to claim his Senate seat. Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed him to fill the junior senator position vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
"We are on our way to Washington to be sworn in. And I'm looking forward to it," Burris said as he left Chicago's O'Hare airport Thursday morning with his wife. "As a matter of fact, I will go to work this evening. There will be votes taken tonight and tomorrow. The family will be coming back tonight (to Chicago). But I will have to go to work."
Senate Democratic leaders said Monday that the former Illinois attorney general presented the appropriate credentials for his Senate appointment.
Some Senate Democrats had argued that Burris should not be seated because he was appointed by Blagojevich, who has been impeached on corruption charges by the Illinois House of Representatives and is accused of attempting to "sell" the seat Obama vacated.
Blagojevich now faces a trial in the Illinois Senate.
Illinois Secretary of State Jessie White sided with those Democrats and did not sign the appointment certificate. In refusing to seat Burris last week, the Senate cited a 125-year Senate rule requiring the secretary of state's signature to certify an appointment. But the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Friday that the secretary of state's signature is not necessary.