January 11th, 2009
06:32 PM ET
14 years ago

Burris' fate could be decided Monday

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/11/art.burristestifies.gi.jpg caption="Senate-appointee Roland Burris' fate could be decided on Monday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The fate of Senate-appointee Roland Burris could be decided as soon as Monday, Democratic sources said, as the Senate's Parliamentarian and legal counsel worked over the weekend deciphering Senate rules to determine if Burris has met the requirements for admittance.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White cleared the main road block to Burris' appointment by submitting a new document to the Secretary of the Senate on Friday that contained both his signature and the official seal of Illinois, two elements which were missing from the official letter of appointment by Gov. Rod Blagovich, a Democrat, in December.

The new letter was also submitted in conjunction with a revised version of Blagojevich's original certificate of appoint. The date of the revised certificate was changed to January 09, 2009 and the space for White's signature was removed.

White's new document states:

"I, Jesse White, Secretary of State of the State of Illinois, do hereby certify that the attached is a true and accurate copy of a certificate of appointment made by the Governor of the State of Illinois and duly filed in the Office of the Secretary of State of Illinois."

Sen. Dick Durbin, currently the lone Senator from Illinois, told reporters on Sunday, "This thing changes by the day."

Durbin spoke at a private meeting of Senate Democrats for thirty minutes to explain why the new document is important and "what all this means."

"This isn't easy stuff," Durbin lamented. "This thing just keeps gnawing at us. Everyone's being asked about it at home, and I just wanted to give them as much information as i could."

Democratic leaders say that now that the papers have been submitted, the next step is to wait for a decision by the Senate Parliamentarian. This could be followed by a debate and vote of full Senate.

Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Jon

    It's official. The Democrats have now officially become no better than the Republicans. In the past 4 years that's two governors resigning, onhe impeached and about to be removed from office, a corrupt governor installing a Senator to flaut the law, a governor who had to withdraw his name from cabinet contention due to inappropriate land dealings, one House member caught red-handed in a bribery scheme, another ousted for adultery, after he ousted a Republican over an adultery scandal, and now an incoming administration installing neophytes into cabinet positions and promising to spend like money grows on trees. The Democrats came in telling us all they were going to be different, that there's wasn't going to be a culture of corruption, that they were going to be better stewards of our finances, our institutions, and our nation. The LIED to us!

    January 11, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Now I understand completely. Doctor the documents and let the dimwit Democrats save face after their stunningly stupid disregard for the rule of law under the influence of their newly acquired political power.

    January 11, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  3. mmd

    for 71, Mr Burris is a good looking man.

    January 11, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  4. mike

    the second "i" should be capitalized!

    "I just wanted to give them as much information as i could."

    January 11, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  5. Chris

    This how all the Senator's certificates should have been signed since the first Congress. The Secretary of State is not the appointing authority, his signature is only to certify the document as an official record. A certified copy of the record is what Burris got, something White can not refuse, and this is what Burris should have requested in the first place, and which Congress would be very, very wrong to reject. It was silly of him to expect to get admitted into the Senate with a plain signed piece of paper, no acknowledgment or certification or seal of any kind.

    January 11, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  6. Moderators of Deletion

    so who is going to be obamas cabinet Secretary of Common Sense and Corruption Control ?

    January 11, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  7. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Let the man be seated. This is the same Senate that gave Stevens a standing ovation. Who are they trying to kid?

    January 11, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. Med Sec

    Ok, now that all of the criteria has been met, there is no sound reason for stalling anymore. Seat the Gentleman from Illinois and move on. The Governor played you like a fiddle, accept it and move on.

    January 11, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  9. Independent for Obama

    Talk about bowing to political pressure. The blogs and columnists have routinely stated this guy is a political weak link, and isn't qualified to be a U.S. Senator. What the heck happened to waiting till the Governor mess cleared up? Is there a deadline to get the senate seat filled that nobody mentioned? If Minnesota can wait for another couple of months to seat Al Franken, it seems Illinois could wait to get this mess cleared up before seating a poor choice.

    January 11, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  10. Adam from Ohio

    Idiocy, plain and simple.

    January 11, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  11. James

    I'm guessing it will go something like this: Harry Reid: "As you all know I'm an utterly spineless wussbag, who always yields after any story stretches out a week, so I am backing down on my resistance to Burris, because I am strategically incompetent."

    January 11, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  12. Ken in NC

    I wish they will get over this mess and get on with the business of trying to repair the economy. I along with probably of millions of other Americans are getting tired of this petty game of, "You Are Not One Of Us Unless You Can Prove It."

    January 11, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. Marc

    This guy should NOT get the seat because he was given the seat from the guy who has been caught trying to sell the seat. Period.

    January 11, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  14. Moderator Deletion

    and who is going to fill the posistion in Obamas cabinet of Secretary of Common Sense and Corruption Control ?

    January 11, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  15. JimS.

    The headline reads "Burris's fate could be decided Monday". He's not being sentenced to live or death, you ninnies.

    His serving in the Senate might be decided. I'd hardly call that "his fate"!

    January 11, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  16. Nee

    I for one, am happy to see the process play out fairly. This man has nothing to do wih Blajove-cheat.

    January 11, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  17. tmess

    Well this moves things a step closer to completion. If the Illinois Supreme Court is correct, Illinois has fully complied with the law of the land in certifying the appointment. It would now be up to the Senate to determine if this facially valid election is "void" for a different reason.

    If the Senate believes that the Illinois Supreme Court erred in finding that a proper certificate of appointment is not requred by federal statutes, I guess Senator Burris could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review that federal question and reverse the decision of the Illinois Supreme Court and order Secretary of State White to complete a proper certificate of appointment.

    January 11, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  18. Perusing-through


    This is an issue that should have remained an Illinois state matter. But Senator Harry Reid dragged the Blagojevich-Burris garbage into the Capital when he threatened to block any of Blagojevich Senate appointments. Apparently, Harry Reid did not know he does not hold any Constitutional Rights to block any "legalized State Senate" appointments to Congress.

    January 11, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  19. Shabazzz

    Please seat the Brother!! He's qualified, and very capable of being a very good senator for Illinois!! This appointment was legal and senate Democrats aren't looking to good by trying to deny this fine gentleman. I encourage anyone who's interested in Mr. Burris to please persuse his background and I am sure you will be impressed!

    January 11, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. Michael Murdock

    No, it changes nothing. He's a great man that was unfortunately appointed by a crook which means there should be an election and no appointment as the seat was tainted. Sorry folks not right.

    January 11, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  21. cornelius mcclure

    roland burris should have been seated when all the other senitors were

    January 11, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  22. Intelligent American

    What's there to decide now? The only thing they said was missing is no longer missing.

    January 11, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  23. Charles from Atlanta

    Again.. legal or ethical, choose one, you can't have both in this case.

    January 11, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  24. chris@stl

    Go home, Mr. Burris .... have some decency, please. Quit. Quit. Quit ...

    January 11, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  25. J

    Why vote? Stop treating him like a little kid! Show some respect please! Isn't it enough to back in the rain! Durbin and Reid stop being racist!!!

    January 11, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
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