January 10th, 2009
04:37 PM ET
13 years ago

Senate aide: New development 'could' allow Burris seating

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/08/burris.gop/art.burris.gi.jpg caption="Burris was in Washington this week and visited Capitol Hill."](CNN) - A senior Democratic congressional source tells CNN the document Illinois secretary of state Jesse White stamped Friday "could" allow them to seat Roland Burris, but they're spending the weekend examining the law and Senate rules.

"We have the parliamentarian, Senate legal counsel and the secretary of the Senate looking at that issue right now," says the aide. "[Senate] Rule II says six things are required - name, date of appointment, date the certificate was signed, state, signature of the governor, and signature of the secretary of state. So now we have all six elements on two separate pieces of paper - they are looking at whether that works."

A Burris associate tells CNN while he had considered returning to Washington on Monday, that is no longer the plan.
Instead, they are going to wait and see what Democratic leaders discuss this weekend.

This associate said it is possible that Burris attorneys could file a federal lawsuit in US District Court on Monday, but that option is also up in the air as they watch and wait.

(Updated after the jump with new details on Burris plans)

"We need to first see what happens, if anything, this weekend," said the Burris associate.

Earlier, White had declined to sign the appointment certificate, siding with some Senate Democrats who say Burris should not be seated because of the cloud over Blagojevich. The embattled governor appointed Burris to fill the open Senate seat that the Democratic governor has been accused of trying to sell.

Despite reports Saturday that indicated White signed the certificate of appointment, White's office said a second document was simply stamped to acknowledge they had received the certificate.

Even if the Senate does accept the document as valid, Senate Democrats still plan to take the matter up in the Senate Rules Committee so they can investigate, and to have a full Senate vote on the issue before Burris could be seated.

Update: The Burris associate now says that Burris is still not planning to go to Washington, DC on Monday, though the option is still on the table.

The source says it's also possible he could also come on another day next week.

"We will wait and see what happens this weekend and then make a final decision," said the Burris associate.


Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Simmy

    Mr. Burris will be seated. Even if you don't publish me. Dems. need to man up/woman up and get with PE Obama, or they will be voted out!

    January 10, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. Harry Reid - The Idiot

    How can we Dems expect our party to lead us out of this mess when we have an idiot like Senator Reid. The man is not only incompetent, but arrogant, and puts himself above the law. He is a disgrace to this Nation.

    January 10, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  3. soulstar

    like him or hate him, burris's appointment is leagal...i fail to understand why this isn't getting through democratic leaders' heads. while i think blago is pathetic, the man in innocent until proven guilty (basic american law) and until convicted/ousted, he is still governor. polls and opinions are not replacements for law!!!!!!! so what if x% of people think he shouldn't be seated??? that is irrelevant. is it lawful or unlawful? this country should NEVER be run on opinion polls of a largely ignorant puplic, unaware of laws, precedence, and due process.

    January 10, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  4. soulstar

    and sorry for my spelling mistakes – this is just a blog, not a term paper!

    January 10, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  5. We are in deep doo doo

    Reid and Pelosi, two past their primes, over their heads, having no clue, and very little brain matter, will be the big negative that "could" taint an otherwise successful term for Mr Obama. What a shame. Everyone voted for change, but arrogant leaders in the House and Senate will bring our Democratic party down, perhaps the President Elect as well. I think Obama could do real good things for the country, but to do so, we need to toss some dead in the House and Senate – starting with Pelosi and Reid. I think Obama would work better and more productively with Republicans in control of Congress.

    January 10, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. Steve

    Admit it, Harry. Blago punked you. Seat Burris and move on.

    January 10, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  7. Illinois

    I live in Illinois. I deserve to have 2 senators representing me. If a convicted felon (Alaska's Ted Stevens) can get a standing ovation in the senate, why can't a legally appointed non-covicted felon step foot in the chamber?

    Dems and Repubs who trash Burris – look at the states you live in. I guarantee your politicians aren't much better (just better at covering up their ethical flaws).

    Burris isn't being investigated for any wrongdoing. Palin was being investigated for ethical violations (and still is) and she was running for the second highest position in the country.

    January 10, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Jann in Denver

    Griff is an inbreed.

    January 10, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. rich

    Seat the man already! Enough. The IL governer will have his day in court, and by the looks of things Burris is clean.

    January 10, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  10. 911willie

    Can we please move on? Regardless of what you think of Blago, he was (and is) still governor and under Illinois law legally appointed Burris (Ill Sup. Crt.) Under the US Constitution the right to select Senators is a State Function. Even if the Senate refuses to seat Burris, unless he is REMOVED from the Senate by some legal action, no new Illinois Governor (post Blago) can appoint another Senator. Also Illinois can't now change the law to undo the appointment. So Illinois would essentially be without a Senator for 2 years until the next election.

    Harry Reid, this is Con Law 101. Not sure who you and Dick Durbin have advising you, but you are both coming off looking like a couple of Bozos *8o))

    January 10, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. Fitz

    CAMI, my sentiment exactly. I think Griff tried his/her hand at spoken word and didn't succeed.

    Actually I was lost for a second until I realized Burries was actually Roland Burris.

    "over and over the kids are used" What kids? who said anything about kids Griff?

    You should go lay down for a bit.

    January 10, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. Rick

    I think it say For the People, By the People, I thought the elected officials worked for us and not themselves. I guess I was wrong. I thought we lived in America but again I must be wrong since the elected officials just run amuck with what they want to do. So I guess what we have is a democratic dictatorship that we will have to live with for 4 years. I think the next time around, if we all decide to vote, I think its time to put someone in charge in all the offices that will listen to the majority when we speak. VOTE THEM ALL OUT NEXT TIME.

    January 10, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. Elizabeth

    Seat Burris

    January 10, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  14. THE OLD TIMER

    THIS JUST SHOWS THE AMERICAN VOTERS HOW HEAD STRONG SOME PEOPLE ARE IN WASHINGTON...HARRY REID SHOULD BE STRIPPED OF ALL POWER THAT HE HAS IN GOVERNMENT.

    THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE LEGISLATORS ARE VOTED BACK IN OFFICE TIME AFTER TIME. WE NEED TERM LIMITS..

    IF TERM LIMITS WERE INSTALLED NONE OF THIS CRAP WOULD HAVE HAPPENED ABOUT THE ECONOMY BEING THE WAY IT IS

    ITS A GOOD WAY TO START A CIVIL WAR , MAYBE THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT WASHINGTON UNDERSTANDS..

    January 10, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  15. Malcolm

    The Dems played politics by not pushing swiftly for a Special Election. Now they have to eat crow. Serves them right.

    January 10, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. Maggie from Virginia

    Griff... Say NO to drugs, please!

    January 10, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  17. chris

    amazing what detail they'll go through to keep Burris out, but couldn't put this sort of effort into impeaching Bush and Cheney. The rules of the Senate don't supersede the power of the Article 1 of the Constitution which tells them what his qualifications should be, 30 yrs old, 9yrs US citizen, and resident of his state.

    Sen. Harry Reid is wrong on this. Sen. Dick Durbin is wrong on this. They need to give it a rest and get to solving our problems. The appointment is legal. It has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Illinois and the Supreme Court of the United States, Powell V McCormick.

    January 10, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
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