January 6th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Burris arrives on the Hill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/06/art.roland.cnn.jpg caption="Burris arrived on the Hill Monday, as media swarmed."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, named by Illinois' controversial governor to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat, arrived at the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning for the start of the 111th Congress.

The secretary of the U.S. Senate on Monday rejected Burris' appointment because it does not conform with the Senate rule requiring that the secretary of state - in this case, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White - must sign the certificate of appointment along with the governor.

White has declined to sign the certificate, siding with some Senate Democrats who say Burris should not be seated because of the cloud over Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to sell Obama's Senate seat.

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Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. Mary from Kentucky

    Cnn you are not posting anything I say . I,m taking my name off.

    January 6, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. earle,florida

    Mr.Burris is a"good man", and has been appointed by a "bad man", but as a black man he is being denied his interim seat for senator of Illinois. Reid, and company say the," SoS of Ilinois" must also sign off to ligitimize the transition, which by the way he refuses to sign. But, get this, if Mr. Burris signs a sworn statement "refusing to run in 2010 for his senatorial seat", the powers to be, will allow him to be seated? Mr. Burris is not damaged goods,or a tainted product because of Blago's selection. He just so happens not to be (Axelrod) PE& Reid's best selection for their agenda? One last point about Illinois politics. It's always been corrupt ,and under the dictatorship of one family,"one-at-a-time" thru-out the last hundred years? The fact of the matter,is that Blago pushed the envelope alittle to far,and got caught, but sorry to say,every Illinois politician probably has had his/her fingerprints on it! Now Mr. Burris,please go sit in the back of the bus, and don't dare drink out of any public water fountains ,not labelled for your kind,..

    January 6, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Chad, Wisco

    Its so funny how easily this could have been resolved. The Lt Gov could have come out and say that if the scenario plays out where he would become Gov he would then choose Burris. This is becoming a big mess and it annoys me beyond belief that Jackson Jr is crying racism in regards to this. This country is a long ways away from racism going away (one could argue that it never will) but joining this particular situation to racism is just grossly wrong.

    January 6, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. USMC - Mike

    this is dumb...

    Why is Burris claiming that the Senate won't seat him? He thinks he should be a Senator and he doens't even know the law, which states clearly that the SECRETARY OF THE HOME STATE MUST SIGN THE APPOINTMENT LETTER FROM THE GOV OF THAT STATE AND THE SEC OF STATE IN IL. REFUSED TO SIGN THE CERTIFICATION FROM THE GOV; THEREFORE, THE US SENATE COULD NOT SEAT HIM, EVEN IF THEY WANTED TO...

    Poor guy should realize he's just a pawn and move along with his life. As for his statements, he proves he's woefully inadequite and unversed in the laws of the land...

    Old fool...

    January 6, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. Jeremy

    How can you be so concerned about illinois politics when our entire government system is corrupt? It's not just Illinois politicians, it is ALL politicians. All of them lie to your face to get votes then do whatever the hell they want once in office...and proceed to get re-elected through some kind of scheme... Clean up the corruption at the source, Washington DC

    January 6, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Gary Portsmouth, VA

    I think the Democratic leadership is showing a lapse in good judgement and respect for the law. What must be realized is that the governor of IL was wrong in his conduct in trying to solicit the senate seat of President-elect Obama but the fact remains that he is still Governor and has not be impeached or convicted as of yet. He still have all the powers of Governor and could appoint anyone one he likes until the power has been stripped from him. Secondly the senate can not designate whom they want for senator to represent IL. The law states that a sitting governor for that state can appoint a senator of HIS choice to fill the seat. Seat Mr. Burris and move on. There is too much other important business to be conducted. As for Harry Reid, I feel his leadership in the senate will not be much longer. Not a thoughtful or deliberate guy. Makes alot of decisions that he has too back track on. Trust me this will be one of them. The LAW is the LAW.

    January 6, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. Bill_ MA

    Harry Reid must think he is the King of America. He is Judge, Jury, and Executioner. These elected servants of the public have gone way beyond arrogance.

    January 6, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. James

    This is a legal appointment. The senate leaders are picking a fight they cannot win.

    January 6, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. J.L.

    With all due respect to Ronald Burris, the impression I get is that he's someone more interested in the limelight and his legacy than anything else. He says be against the appointer but don't hold things against the appointee... Huh? One of the reasons the appointer is getting so much flak is because he was trying to sell the position he is supposed to appoint. With that one little fact, the seat is tainted, whoever he chooses. And final thing I find really weird and makes me think he's just interested in adding more to his legacy, he has a mausoleum built in a cemetery that lists his accomplishments... I just gotta saw... wow... and not in a good way.

    January 6, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Tom in Delaware

    The SOS of Illinois can sign that piece of paper if he wants to, or use it to wipe his butt, it makes no difference.

    He does not have veto power over the appointment made by the governor.

    Just obey the law and swear him in and swallow your pride, then just try to slink away into a corner and avoid those pesky reporters when they stick a microphone onto your face to ask you why you're so stupid.

    Sucks to be you today, Harry Reid.

    Take heart...this didn't happen to you, it happened because of you.

    January 6, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Government By The PEople

    Patriotic, Law Abiding Bloggers ....

    Please train your "guns" on Harry Reid.

    January 6, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Concerning Burris’ appointment to the US Senate, it is important to remember that they are rules that need to be followed unless the entire system is going to collapse.

    1. Before Burris can be accepted into the US Senate, Burris must present his credentials to the Secretary of the Senate to be formally entered into the Senate rolls. Anyone who does not possess the appropriate credentials can not (can not, not should not) be accepted into the Senate. There is no leeway or ambiguity. cf Senate Rule number 2.

    2. The Senate credentials, in order to be complete, needs two signatures. One of the signatures is the Governor of the State. The other signature is the Secretary of State for that state. Again, in accordance to Senate Rule 2, there is no leeway or ambiguity in this.

    3. Illinois Secretary of State White has declined to sign Burris’ credentials.

    Given these three facts, Mr. Burris can not be accepted into the US Senate at this time. To do so would be to break the Senate Rules.

    Notice that this has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Burris’ race, but everything to do with following the rules. If the rules were broken, there would be an uproar of protests.

    If anyone has a gripe about this, the person to look toward is Illinois Secretary of State White. The question to ask is: Does Secretary White have the authority not to sign the credentials? The decision is made by Secretary White. That is where our questions need to be directed.

    January 6, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. di

    cnn you are just foolish for never posting my blogs

    January 6, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. chuck


    January 6, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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