January 7th, 2009
11:32 AM ET
14 years ago

Reid: Burris can't be seated, yet

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/07/art.reidlive.cnn.jpg caption="Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is talking to reporters after meeting with Burris."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated Wednesday that the Illinois Supreme Court may be able to help clear the way for former state Attorney General Roland Burris to be seated in the U.S. Senate.

Reid said that he is waiting for a ruling from the Illinois high court on whether or not the Illinois Secretary of State needs to sign Burris's certificate of appointment.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has declined to sign the certification, siding with some Senate Democrats who say Burris should not be seated because of the cloud over Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has been accused of trying to sell Obama's open Senate seat - and appointed Burris to fill it.

Reid also indicated that Burris himself could help remove any taint or question regarding his appointment by Blagojevich by testifying Thursday before a special Blagojevich impeachment committee convened by the Illinois legislature.

Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Allen Hussein

    Has there been a more inept Senate Majority Leader than Harry Reid. After proving that he has no spine in his lame attempts to hold Bush accountible, he just got absolutely schooled by the worst govenor in the country. Reid, do your country and the Democrats a favor and step down as Senate Majority Leader.

    January 7, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse NY

    So now it's just a matter of the technicality of a missing signature? What happened to 'we will not seat a Blago appointee'? Looks like FLIP-FLOP time. Oh, that's right, they can't afford alienating the black vote.

    January 7, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. JJ12345

    Unfortunantely, I think that Reid doesnt have a leg to stand on. Blog has not been convicted, he is still the Govenor, I dont see where the appointment in illegal. I may not like it but it doesnt look illegal. Reid should be out on his ear, he IS PART OF THE PROBLEM.

    January 7, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. JJ12345

    John January 7th, 2009 11:45 am ET

    Burris' credentials are not in order, so he *cannot* be seated. This is not "racial", this is not a "Democrat" thing, it is a matter of law. He has not been certified by the Illinois Secretary of State (who, by the way, is black).

    That said, is is unbelievably arrogant for Blagojevich to have attempted to appoint him and unbelievably foolish for Burris to have accepted.
    It is not required for the Ill Sec of State to certify it for the US Senate to seat him.

    January 7, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. adon09

    He just refuses to accept defeat. What a blooming idiot harry reid is?

    January 7, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. BJ

    Sen Reid is a bigot and should be kicked out of the Senate.

    January 7, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Melissa

    Reid is right in this.

    January 7, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. In that case

    Didn't Sen. Reid declare the seat was lost?

    January 7, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Dave Carlisle

    Harry Reid needs to be impeached for breaking IL and US laws.

    January 7, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. CP

    RULE II of the Standing Rules of the Senate, section 2, "The Secretary shall keep a record of the certificates of election and certificates of appointment of Senators by entering in a wellbound book kept for that purpose the date of the election or appointment, the name of the person elected or appointed, the date of the certificate, the name of the governor and the secretary of state signing and countersigning the same, and the State from which such Senator is elected or appointed."

    As such, the rules don't require the Secretary of State to sign the Certificate of Appointment, but rather require the Secretary of the Senate to record this information from it (if such information is provided would be Burris' argument). Nevertheless, the certificate must be a legal instrument under the laws of the State and acknowledged as such by the proper authority (which could be the Secretary of State and always is, but I would have thought Burris's lawyers would have considered attaching a notary's jurat to the certificate in the absense of Jessee White's willingness to do so to give some other legitimacy to the certificate).

    It is Blagojevich's responsibility to give Burris a properly executed certificate in order to make the appointment effective. It was foolhardy to send him to the Senate without one, I think.

    January 7, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Pat F

    Reid, you been skunked. Not the first time, not the last time. God help the Democrats if this knucklehead is the best the Senate can barf up.

    January 7, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. Pat F

    @Susan, Macedon New York:

    Don't go skippin your doses. It isn't worth the savings when the hallucinations start up again.

    January 7, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Penney Madison

    Reid, you need to be un-seated.

    January 7, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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