Senate Refuses to Seat Burris

The United States Senate yesterday refused to seat Roland Burris, selected by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to fill the term of Barack Obama. The dance with Burris and by extension Blagojevich will continue today, with Majority Leader Harry Reid and Whip Dick Durbin scheduled to meet with Burris to discuss his possible seating. From the Washington Post:

Burris’s single-minded push may yet succeed. Senate Democrats, once sharply opposed to allowing Burris to be seated because he was appointed by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), are now considering allowing him to serve as a way to end a confrontation that could drag on for weeks and distract from what they hope will be an end to a decade of gridlock on Capitol Hill. One idea being considered, Democratic officials said, is allowing Burris to be seated if he agrees not to run for election in 2010, allowing the party to recruit another candidate to defend the seat (Burris has lost multiple statewide races in Illinois).

Sen. Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) plan to meet with Burris today on Capitol Hill, and the two leaders are undoubtedly eager to defuse a situation in which their resistance to the appointment could alienate black voters.

With the potential for continued disruption and distraction the Senate should simply seat Burris. There is a larger issue at play here, and it is one that should not be taken lightly. The law requires that Burris be seated. And when the law produces an outcome that some consider unseemly there are no provisions that allow it to be ignored. The Governor has outfoxed just about everyone here, and whether people think he is a rogue is not relevant. Burris has not been accused of any unethical behavior, and he should be seated unconditionally. Then maybe the Illinois Legislature should consider changing the law giving Governors the right to make these appointments. But then again the Illinois Legislature has had that ability since the arrest of the Governor.

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2 Responses to Senate Refuses to Seat Burris

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    He will be seated as he should.



  2. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,
    Are we dealing with the Keystone cops here?

    If the Democratic party can’t work its way out of this relatively simple task of sitting a representative, how are they going to solve the supersize headache of saving the financial system of the country?

    You got to be red faced over this.



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