January 9th, 2009
04:25 PM ET
14 years ago

Senate Dems weighing next moves on Burris

(CNN) - An aide to Sen. Dick Durbin tells us he is expected to say at his press conference later today that even though the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled Roland Burris doesn’t need the secretary of state’s signature to make his appointment official, Senate rules still require it - and congressional leaders don’t see a way to seat him without it.

But aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid say their lawyers are still looking at the ruling, and deliberating. They point to a passage in the court's Friday decision that suggests an alternative way to authenticate the certificate of appointment.

Separately, Democratic aides say they are still hoping that impeachment proceedings for Gov. Rod Blagojevich keep moving - and note that the moment he leaves office, the issue is moot: if the state's lieutenant governor moves into the top spot, he will sign an election certificate for either Burris or another candidate. That certificate would then be signed by Secretary of State Jesse White, since Gov. Rod Blagojevich's name will no longer be involved.

Filed under: Dick Durbin • Harry Reid • Roland Burris
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Hammer

    Reid has shown his leadership ability in this case He shot his mouth off as usual and now he is going to eat crow again.
    Really the type of people that we need in congress and elected as their leader no less.
    And you wonder why the American people does not trust Congress!

    January 9, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  2. Willy Brown

    Go ahead, make my day Democrats!

    January 9, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. Jean2

    The Senate should stand up for it's rules. If they let Burris in it opens the door.

    The whole circus is horrible, and Burris knew this when allowed himself to be played. Burris is not stupid he knew race would be used to get him seated.



    January 9, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. TrueBlue

    As an Illinois resident I do not want Burris as senator. If he had the interests of the people of Illinois as his priority, he would not have accepted this appointment from Blago in the first place.

    But it is the interests and ego of Roland Burris that drives him. News flash, Roland, your interests and the interests of the rest of the residents of Illinois are not the same.

    All of you non-Illinoisans opining we should have him as our senator - would you be saying the same thing if he was attempting to become senator from your state?

    January 9, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  5. David Fox

    I am no attorney, but reading the Courts ruling, it is a simple fix. Get a copy of the appointment letter and have the Secretary of the State of Illinois sign and apply the State Seal to the the copy..

    January 9, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. J in NJ

    At the end of the day Burris must be seated, its the law. Obama quit therefore the replacement issue falls to the state, not Reid, not Durbin but the State of Illinois. The law is clearly spelled out in the Illinois state constitution the "sitting Governor" makes the call. At the time of the appointment Blago was the "sitting Governor". He had full power and authority to make the appointment. Infact he was legally bound to make the call.
    He should have resigned but he did not, so we gotta live with the choice for the next two years. Having said all that the next words outta Reid's mouth should be "this way Senator Burris". This is a clear case of interference of States rights

    January 9, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  7. Tim

    All I can say is Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    And I have an over-riding urge to head to downstate Illinois and Washington DC dressed as a clown, and walk around and ask everyone I see if they can point me to the circus.

    January 9, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  8. Simmy

    To Keith, FL:

    I agree with you.
    Why is it that Dems seem to be getting some metal in their spines now? Some of them acted as if they were afraid of Bush, and let him run wild for 8 years. Now we have the makings of a great president on board, and some are whining about his Stimulus Plans, others are not on board with some of his selections, and a couple of them have even gone "rogue" and said "publicly" that they do not work for PE Obama. Why now? Why are they so hell-bent on causing disunity? I would not want to think the obvious, and say that there seems to be an underlying thread of disrespect trying to unraveled.

    This kind of pulling of political cords in different directions within the same party will not be tolerated by true supporters of PE Obama. Dems, get your house back in order.
    Like it or not, Sen. Burris will be seated. SML Reid is making this a sideshow as he continues to delay the process. Gov. Blago is the accused. The courts will take care of him. Do the legal and binding thing. Obey the law.

    January 9, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
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