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. Sarge in Florida

    Rules are rules. That's the whole problem with this country's Justis system. Now you are guilty before even going to trial. What happened INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY? The media has anyone charge for a alleged crime already convected and judged and put away..Burris is no way connected to the dealings or actions of the Governor. Seat the man like the law states they have to do. Are the Democrats breaking the constitution like Bush and Cheney did? Harry Reid and the rest of them should not throw rocks at glass houses when they live in one themselves. In times like this I'm ashamed to call myself a Democrat. Reid and Pelosi make me vomit.

    January 6, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Scott NYC Independent

    @Rick – WHAT – you are really sad to still try to link PE Obama to this – that's all I have to say – I have nothing but pitty for you and those that think like you. Pitty the fool.

    January 6, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |

    You might hate Blago, but Burris is a good guy and he was legally appointed. Seat him in the Senate NOW! The Senate needs a black person NOW!

    January 6, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Ms. Jenny

    Looks like they've got The Great Obama over a barrel on this one.

    Huh? What does this even have to do with Obama at this point? This is a matter for the Senate to resolve. And in case you haven't been paying attention, Obama is no longer in the Senate because he's PRESIDENT!!! I swear, some of you right-wing haters will try to turn anything, no matter how far-fetched, into "oh, this is really bad news for Obama!!!"


    January 6, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Lisa V

    Watch out! I have seen many people who during the election clearly identified themselves as conservative Republicans intentionally post pro Burris or even Blagojevich comments just to stir the pot and try to create friction. At least after today it becomes a legal issue. Still, I am glad to see the block was at least attempted. Could you imagine the reaction if the Senate just said: Sure, Burris was appointed by an egomaniac and then some, but, what the heck can we do, come on in Burris?

    January 6, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Mari

    @ Rick...... you are a typical far-right-nut, listening to Limbaugh the comedian for too long. DO you REALLY think that with ALL the wire-tapping, all the angst by the GOP against Obama...... that anything worth exposing would have been exposed or do you REALLY think SO little of your own......party and government? Fool.

    Burris should not have accepted a senate seat that is tainted by the Blagojevich scandal! He is another fool.

    No.... Blagojevich has not been found guilty yet, but Fitzgerald has plnety of evidence to convict him!

    January 6, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Douglas

    The dems are smart not to seat him, and this is coming from a republican. He is currently nothing but trouble, and even though his seating is completely legal, it is better to have drama regarding blocking his entry into congress rather than finding out later on that the congress seated a guy that paid for his seat, as if it were some movie ticket.

    January 6, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. amt

    Burris should be seated, he has done nohing wrong, Blago has done nothing wrong, if he has why has he not been impeached, he is still the Gov, & has the power to appoint Burris, senate should seat Burris

    January 6, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Scott NYC Independent

    Hello people this is not an isolated situation Al Franken is in the same position and cannot be seated without the Secretary of States signature on the certification. In Frankens case, although recognized he won't be seated until any and all legal challenges are completed. Burris is not being treated any different.

    January 6, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. karen-phoenix

    Burris NEVER should have accepted the appointment. Anyone who accepts anything from Blago puts himself in a very compromising position!

    January 6, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Lamont

    Burris acts as though there is absolutely nothing wrong with his 'appointment'. The fact is that if someone is accused, arrested, and released on bond that is far more serious than simply an accusation or suspicion of wrong doing. As a former attorney general, he ought to know better than most how serious this is. Of course since he is the benefactor in this case, he obviously refuses to see what everyone else sees. The IL governor has compromised his office which has in turn, compromised his senatorial appointment. Burris is an embarrassment to IL. I am glad they sent that POS packing. The new IL governor can and hopefully will find a more suitable candidate to fill Obama's seat.

    January 6, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. Obama politics.......there is no change people!!!

    All you IDIOTS that fell for the smooth talk of Obama are now finally seeing the type of people he hangs around with!!!!

    You tell Republicans to "get over it"........well, it's time all you who were put into the trance by Obama's words "WAKE UP" and see what you elected.......just another crooked Chicago politician who does nothing but pick former Clinton people!!

    There is NO CHANGE coming people......just same ol USA Politics!!!!!

    January 6, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. MHope

    Burris is appearing to look a bit like a modern day Don Quixote tipping at windmills there on Capitol Hill, attempting I think to prove to the American people you can indeed fight City Hall? We shall see!
    Personally, I feel the man should be seated, we have enough on our plates in this country now to be consumed on the media with a unnessecary sideshow, the governor of Illinois is still the Governor no matter how anyone feels about it and he was appointed by him legally, so seat the man and get on with the more serious buisness that this country is facing!

    January 6, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Joan , Ontario

    This gentlemen should not have associated himself with the Governor who has manipulated him in this situation. Everyone is talking about this instead of the other corruption allegations against the Governor. That is what he wanted. Mr. Burris could have said "thanks but no thanks" and if the Governor had any class he would step aside temporarily or resign and then the new Governor could have appointed him with no scandal. The problem with Mr. Burris is that he is friends with the Governor, he and his wife have donated a lot to his campaigns and therefore many will wonder if there was anything discussed before his appointment. He should have known better than to get caught up in this. It is taking away from the focus on the economy, foreign affairs, etc. Maybe the Governor will be found not guilty legally (doubt it) but even if he does he is guilty of immoral behaviour and very bad judgement. Everyone with common sense should distance themselves from him. Mr. Burris now seems desperate to get this seat at any cost even though he is hurting his party and his reputation.

    January 6, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Finn VA

    Who cares about this they are all crooks and this we know. I need to start getting my check soon or I can't pay my bills

    January 6, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. W. T. Moses, Boca Raton, Florida

    The secretary of the U.S. Senate on Monday wisely rejected Burris' as his appointment was by a Governor who should be impeached. It is time that we take America back on what it is known for – HONESTY AND MORALS! Naturally, this move by the Secretary of the U. S. Senate will be called a racist or something like that. So what!! The Secretary was honest and acted accordingly. Kudos to the Secretary of the U. S. Senate. God bless America and one nation UNDER GOD forever.

    January 6, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. chall

    I would feel sorry for Roland Burris, if he weren't so cocky and smug. This Burris circus makes great TV, but the previous posters are right–Burris is not the man for the job. The real losers, though, are the people of the State of Illinois. Illinois government is an unmitigated disaster. Where to begin?!? The Illinois Democrats put their own interests above those of the people. They blocked a special election, simply because the people of Illinois might choose a Republican. The USA takes a huge step towards making race irrelevant by electing Obama, but Illinois "must" send a person of color to the Senate? How about sending the hardest-working, most qualified, most honest person we can find, whether they are black, white, yellow or GREEN?!? Wake up, fellow residents of Illinois! Demand that your elected officials fix this mess. Hold them accountable, and maybe by the time our children are grown, "Illinois" won't be a punch line for the rest of America.

    January 6, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. Thomas L. Boise Idaho

    Roland Burris has an unblemished record in Illinois, with years of experience under his belt; that said, he should be seated accordingly, regardless of the current Governors legal predicament in Illinois. Washington Democrats are wrong to shut him out of the process. Burris is an upstanding person of good moral character who is more than ready to assist this country in the vital tasks' at hand.

    Please seat Roland Burris!!

    January 6, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. ...

    Rick, what's this nonsense you're speaking of?

    January 6, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. james anderson

    I have neither heard nor read anything questionable about Mr. Burris' past. I see no good reason for his not being seated. The governor may have some personal motivation for his selection but as long as Mr. Burris' past is untarnished, we need to move forward with seating him. So Senators, President Elect Obama and others who have been opposed, let's move over and allow him the seat; the next senatorial election in Illinois will allow the people an opportunity to keep him or replace him. Like it or not, the governor still has some authority. If not, then I assume if Illinois were to experience a catastrophic event and the governor immediately called in, for example, the National Guard we would block them at the door because this governor made the call. Get real people and focus on something important that maybe won't resolve itself over time such as this will.

    January 6, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. Soso

    There's more reasons not to seat Burris than the Secretary of State thing...he ran for the Senate seat and lost miserably and he's being a drama queen about it. Plus he has a major ego problem: his kids are named Roland Jr. and Rolanda.

    January 6, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. gt

    lunatic !!!! go home !!!

    January 6, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Charles Atlanta

    Do you believe Burris is totally innocent on this matter? Do you believe they didn't have deep discussion before the announcement of appointment? Folks, it has been a complete collaboration between Burris and Balgoviech. They play legal game, race card,.., to get what they agreed, no ethics needed. If Balgoviech is convicted, and do you believe Burris might be the highest bidder?

    January 6, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. ernest rhoades

    The senate is full of lawyers i am sure they know that what they are doing is not legal.To make an old gentleman feel scared and to drive him out into the cold and threatening storm .This is the worst kind of politics and the senate needs to be ashamed of its self we are Americans what ever happened to doing the right thing and working together to solve problems this never should have taken place.i must say i am ashamed of our government for there cold and calased treatment of Mr Burris .

    January 6, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Lori, MN

    Seat the man! Who cares anymore. Seat Burris, seat Franken and GET TO WORK!! Who cares about the Illinois Governor and his BS. Who cares about Norm Coleman and his lawsuit over the Minnesota Senate seat. SEAT THEM AND GET TO WORK! I'm not a Democrat nor a Republican. I'm a PO'ed citizen who is fed up with what seems to be never ending political controversy. It's always something. My god, if I did as lousy of a job as the political hacks in DC, I'd get fired!

    January 6, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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