January 6th, 2009
12:49 PM ET

Roland Burris: What Should U.S. Senate Do?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama really didn't need this. Roland Burris declared he's the Senator from Illinois despite the controversy surrounding his appointment. He was picked by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to sell the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

But when Burris made his way to Capitol Hill this morning, the Senate refused to seat him. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said it's because of incomplete paper work. His certificate of appointment is signed by the Illinois Governor but not by the secretary of state. But it's really much more than that.

Burris said his lawyers will handle it and he has a private meeting scheduled with Senate leaders tomorrow.

He said he didn't want to make a scene on Capitol Hill-but he did. It was a circus.

People are speaking out on Burris' behalf, saying his appointment is legal and he should be seated.

But this whole thing smells. There are criminal charges pending against the Illinois governor who appointed Burris. Those charges include trying to profit from naming Obama's replacement in the U.S. Senate. It's sort of like letting Bernie Madoff run a hedge fund while he's awaiting trial on charges of stealing $50 billion from investors.

Our Question is: When it comes to Roland Burris, the controversial Senate appointee from Illinois, what should the U.S. Senate do?

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to Roland Burris, the controversial Senate appointee from Illinois, what should the U.S. Senate do?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Maureen in Georgia writes:
It seems that legally Burris should be seated because Blagojevich is still the Governor, as corrupt as he may be. But Burris wants that seat so desperately that he would accept it from a corrupt Governor under investigation and that, to me, is a red flag not to trust him. Burris might have not done anything wrong, but where is his integrity?

Greg from Cabot, Arizona writes:
Send him back to Illinois for the proper paperwork. Just like at the dry cleaners, no ticket, no laundry. The Illinois Secretary of State needs to certify his appointment first. Until that happens, everything else is just a dog and pony show.

Mike from Hot Springs, Arkansas writes:
The man was appointed according to Illinois law. There is absolutely no reason not to seat him. The Dems are making a big mistake here. As an old trial lawyer myself, I think that it is time for dear Harry Reid to get off the dime and start negotiating.

Mark from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma writes:
The Governor appointed him and he should be sworn in. We had a President a few years ago who was going through an impeachment process and I don't recall him being unable to carry out his official duties during the impeachment trial. Roland Burris should camp out on the Senate's doorstep until they agree to swear him in.

David in California writes:
Unless there is evidence to show Mr. Burris is somehow involved in the wrongdoing of the Governor, and I have not seen or heard any such evidence, he should be seated as a Senator from Illinois. He was legally appointed to the position and he has not personally committed an act that would disqualify him. Sure, the Governor of Illinois is a scum bag, but that does not mean Mr. Burris is incapable of dutiful and honorable service to the people of Illinois.

George in New York, New York writes:
The idea of Harry Reid being jury, judge and prosecutor is more distasteful than the idea of Burris being appointed by a felon. Let Burris stay. Lock the doors on Reid.

Filed under: 2008 Election • Senate and Congress
soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Terrell Walker Escondido Ca.

    Jack it would appear that the Senate's hands are tied until the Secretary of of the state of Illinois signs off on Mr. Burris. My question is: How could a man that is currently held in high regard allow himself to be used in this manner by Blago? It is shameful

    January 6, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  2. Rose in Az

    Congress should not seat Burris, there is way too much scandal by the Gov. of Ill. He should not have appointed Burris to begin with.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  3. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Seat him......they will really be opening up a can of worms if they try to bar him from the Senate. Whatever you think of Blago, he's still the Governor of Illinois and has the right to appoint Burris to the Senate opening. You can't block the appointment just because you don't like the man who made the appointment.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  4. Meg Ulmes

    They probably ought to seat him. Doing anything else will keep Congress from working on the economy and other more imporant issues.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 6, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  5. Teddy

    Jack, I think the Senate should allow Mr. Burris to be seated given the fact that he's the appointee and not the appointer. Lets not forget as guilty as we all want Governer Blagojevich to be at the end of all of this he's an innocent man untill he's proven guilty in a court of law.

    Vero Beach, Fl

    January 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  6. Charles Jones

    Here's a unique idea: How about following the word of the LAW? Something, I trust, that would be rather unusual, of late!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!

    Chuck Canfield, OHIO

    January 6, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  7. Susan Geear Medford Or

    Don't seat him, but do pity him. He claims that he has had a distinguished career of service but he doesn't understand that the first line of his obit is that he has abetted Blogo in thumbing his nose at the world, and maked himself a laughing stock.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  8. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    The Senate should accept the appointment of Burris only if Blagojevich agrees to resign the same day. My guess is that the buddy system in Illinois politics couldn't stand the strain of such a break up, in which case Burris is sent home to become council for the defense in the Governors corruption trial. That's what friends are for!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  9. Sam from Pheonix, Arizona

    Jack, Burris was legally appointed by the Governor, plane and simple. The Senate has to deal with the fact that Roland Burris is the junior Senator from illinios. If the democrats want him out they should just endorse his primary opponent in 2010.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  10. Kellie

    I think the Senate should let the appointment of Roland Burris ride unless they can prove of some sort of wrongdoing on his part. However, there's no doubt the GOP will try to use the argument that a scandalous Governor appointed Burris when the seat is up for re-election. Hopefully, the good folks in Illinois won't hold it against Burris for the actions of a slime bucket in his party.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  11. don in naples, florida

    the senate needs to seat him, he was appointed.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  12. Xania[self-appointed Queen of WV]

    The U.S. senate needs to issue Mr. Roland Burris the "How To Become A Legal U.S. Senator" rulebook. He just can't barnstorm his way into the senate swearing-in ceremonies and actually get sworn in just because he showed up. And if he's going to sue anyone it should be Blagovich for the wasted trip to D.C. for himself and his legal team. After all, Blagovich was the one who started the snowball downhill by trying to appoint him in the first place.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  13. Carol Northampton, MA

    The Lt. Governor should say that he would choose Burris so that he can have the Atty. General certify the appointment, then Blago is taken out of the mix.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  14. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    If the Senate leaders were smart, they'd realize that they have no legal leg to stand on and therefore should alow Burris to occupy Obama's vacant seat. If they fight his appointment, Burris will take the issue to the courts and most probably win. As the Senate leadership is not made of the brightest bulbs in Congress, they will most likely take the route that wastes the most possible taxpayer money.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  15. Melissa

    They should declare his appointment void and an election for a new Senator should be held.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  16. CK

    Never mind the Senate, can't Burris see that he's a patsy?! Shouldn't someone who is supposedly qualified to be a Senator also be smart enough to realize when he's being used by a rat of a Governor?

    January 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  17. Gigi

    First lets not let the Senate decide, let the people of Illinois decide. Do they want him to represent them if so he's in.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  18. John

    Jack: The Secretary of the State of Illinois did not sign the appointment; therefore, the US Senate does not have to seat him. Mr. Burris goes to a Districit Federal Court an gets his way then the Senate will have to seat him. Mr. Burris has a legal claim going stricitly by the powers of the Governor of Illinois, until he is convicted of a felony his powers to appoint people to jobs is still in authority. The Governor is a lousey person, but is a he a felon?


    January 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  19. Marian Atkinson

    It appears the appointment is legal; therefore, it seems to me that Senate should seat him. There is an election in 2010. That will be here before we know it. Then let the electors decide. Blagojevich pulled off a good one - sleaze that he appears to be - I think Senate just has to suck it up! make the appointment, and get on with more important matters.
    Marian from Canada

    January 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  20. Geri

    It amuses me that the Senate members, particularly the leadership, is suddenly acting as if it is above reproach when it comes to Roland Burris. Who do they think they are kidding? Seat the man and get on with the real business at hand. Valuable time is wasting and none of you are kidding anyone.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    January 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  21. Jackie in Dallas

    What they should do is follow the law and the rules. If Mr. Burris can get the certification from the Illinois Secretary of State, they should seat him. If he cannot, then they should not. No exceptions.

    I find it ironic that the most exclusive group, the Republicans, want him to be seated, while the party of inclusion - which includes our first bi-racial President - thinks he should not be seated. But then, the Republicans never think that the laws and rules apply to them!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  22. Gigi in Alabama

    Since the Secretary of State of the state of Illinois has not signed off on this man's appointment the Senate did exactly what they were supposed to do.
    It seems to me that this is a problem for the state of Illinois, not a problem for the Senate. Illinois should get rid of a corrupt governor and let their lt. governor appoint a person that is not tainted by this governor.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  23. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    With all do respect to Burris, the man is not legally appointed as Senator until the Illinois Sec. of State signs off on the declaration along with Gov. Blagojevich.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  24. Jackie in Dallas

    Additionally, for all the rest of the posters who are saying to seat him because he was legally appointed - the appointment is NOT legal or binding unless certified and signed off by the Illinois Secretary of State. Burris' is not. End of story.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  25. Gina in Racine, Wi

    They should seat him. Period.

    Like it or not Blago is the Governor and hasn't been convicted (yet, but I hope that he is) for his crimes.

    He has to sole responsibility of appointing this Senatorial seat. And he has done it.

    Burris is more then qualified and has the credentials.

    What is wrong with the Democrats? They should seat this man that was LEGALLY appointed to the Senate......and stop giving O'Reilley, Hannity and even old guys like you, Jack......so much ammunition.

    If they seat Burris....Illinois gets a great Senator and the Democratic Party takes another negative Democratic story, out of the view of the main stream media and the GOP.

    This is legal....and it is a non issue.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  26. David Bebeau

    He should not be seated for the exact and very reasons that Susan Geear on the above entry stated.The whole thing is so tained and during a time when Washington is simply so broken.
    Pretty Sad

    January 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  27. Mark in OKC

    The governor appointed him and he should be sworn in. We had a President a few years ago who was going through an impeachment process and I don't recall him being unable to carry out his official duties during the impeachment trial. Roland Burris should camp out on the Senate's doorstep until they agree to swear him in.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  28. Rose

    To be sworn in, the Secretary of State must sign, he did not. I think Mr. Burris knew this and yet he still pushed his way to the Capital. Someone must be an expert on Senate law and state law to bring this distraction to a close.
    As a resident of Connecticut, we had more corruption from our former Gov. Roland and several Mayors, one included sex with a minor. We were called Corrupticut, a title you never live down. We are stuck with Joe Lieberman, perhaps we could trade.

    Rose Hann, New London, CT

    January 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  29. william fitzwater

    let it play out in in the state government.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |

    Allow him to be sworn in as Senator of Illinois. If the US senate did not want Blagojevich to appoint a person to Obama's seat, they should have used their power to get him out of office as they are using it to keep Burris out. Burris had nothing to do with the scandal and is caught in the middle. He was appointed legally and should be allowed to serve legally and in 2010 if the people of Illinois wants to re-elect him then sobeit.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  31. vern-t anaheim,ca

    seat mr.burris,there was nothing illegal about the govenor of illinois appointing him and it also gives the state of illinois and the democratic party a bad name.i've studied mr.burris back ground and there is nothing in it that would disqualify him

    January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  32. Gerald Fisher, Glenview Illinois

    The Senate action re Roland Burris makes no sense.Mr Burris was a lifelong Democrat and could be counted on voting with the leadership. They have reduced their majority by one vote. If the courts agree that he was legally appointed and is then seated he will not owe the leadership any loyalty. And in 12 months if the Governor is found not guilty won't that be embarrasing.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  33. Dave in MO

    How funny they are trying to keep out Burris who is qualified and can't get the comedian in fast enough.... This is so ridicules and backwards! No wonder this congress has a 12% approval rating!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  34. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    The Senate should seat him!! Even if Blago is nuts, he's still officially the Gov. and his appointment is legal. The Senate needs to seat him and Franken and get over it.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  35. R. Brogan

    Burris is not a dumb man, but he should have known better than to accept this appointment.

    Race has nothing to do with this issue.

    Denver, CO

    January 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  36. Mike Browne

    Jack, yes, Congress does have very low approval ratings. And I attribute that to "gridlock". And during the Democratic Congress of these past two years, the reason that nothing got done was primarily due to Republican filibusters. It seems to be their favorite action - to obstruct.

    My suggestion should the Democratic Congress wish to get in the good graces of the public again, would be to reduce the number of Senate votes required to end a filibuster from 60 to 55. (At one time it was 67.) Clearly, the 60 vote requirement is primarily responsible for the gridlock that we all complain about. Given that it is nearly impossible to achieve such a plurality (even after Bush's disastrous tenure), it gives the minority party the freedom to easily put the brakes on any piece of legislation it so chooses.

    Bottom line: Stop the filibuster and gridlock will stop and Congress will get the vitally needed legislation passed that is so essential in this time of crisis. And, in the process, Congress' approval ratings will rise sharply.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  37. Tom

    Well Jack here we go again! Controversy for the Senate before they get out of the gate! It seems to me that the news reports were wide and far that any appointment by "Blogo" would be blocked. So why bother? Perhaps another attempt to divert attention from the real issue for "Blogo" his possible criminal activity in regards to this senate seat. WELL DONE!

    Ocoee FL.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  38. Danni

    The Senate should of just accepted him and saved this country tax dollars in attorney fees. No laws were broken, Blagojevich just played the system very well.
    Danni From Upland CA

    January 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  39. Eric VanSickle (Cedar Falls, Iowa)

    Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has no right not to sign the Senate appointment paper of Roland Burris. Secretaries of state for the individual states cannot veto a governor's decision to appoint replacement Senators as long as they are legally done. Although Blago is accused of selling the seat to others, Burris wasn't one of those in the auction. This action by the Senate and by White is just posturing. Blago is still the governor, so his choice should stand until he's removed.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  40. Harry

    Not seating Mr. Burris means that he has a legitimate excuse for not doing anything on behalf of his constituency. As for the one's that got seated..... what's their lame excuse?


    January 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  41. Allen

    Jack, they need to stick to their initial position and wait until the state of Illinois makes a decision on the man.
    Hartwell, GA

    January 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  42. Joan Sothern Illinois

    I think they should follow the law.
    Mr. Burris went to Wash. without the Sec. of State's signature. He should have known better. Come back with the signature and he should be allowed to be seated.
    What about that is so hard to understand? He wanted a big show and he sure got it. He was in the wrong.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  43. frankie

    We don't have time for this childish junk, which has been on the news instead of real news today. It isn't even possible to know who is right or wrong here, so everyone should stop trying to make sure they look right. Just swear in Burris, and Franken (or Coleman, flip a coin), and get on with the business of America.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  44. Jackie in Dallas

    Guys, I repeat, according to the Illinois Constitution, and the rules of the Senate, an appointed Senator cannot be seated unless LEGALLY appointed by the Governor AND certified by the Illinois Secretary of State. Many of us who are saying not to seat him are saying it because Burris has NOT been certified by the Illinois Secretary of State, not because of the situation of Blagojovich.

    Burris was fully aware of this when he showed up at the Senate. He KNEW that they wouldn't seat him, and he still did it. What does this say about the man's professionalism and ethics?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  45. Ken in NC

    As much as I hate to say it, I see no legal reason except for the missing signature of the Sec. of State of Illinois. Get that signature and seat the man quickly because his contractor is scheduled next week to carve into Burris's mausoleum "APPOINTED TO THE US SENATE“.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  46. Annie, Atlanta

    They should seat Burris. Illinois didn’t do a darn thing to stop their governor. That’s not Burris’ fault. Good old Illinois politics. Makes me homesick. Here in GA you get the same results no matter what. Very predictable and very dull.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  47. Susan

    From St. Louis, Missouri – Re Burris – Does the Illinois governor possibly being a crook, certainly a jerk, make Burris' appointment illiegal? If Burris' appointment is legal, then that should be that! This controversy is shameful episode of our governing bodies – more politics, more posturing, more not getting down to work!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  48. Christi from Newton, Iowa

    Seat him for crying out loud. We finally have a democratic white house and democratic congress, but they are going to fiddle away the time of majority fighting with themselves and then get booted out in two years for not getting anything done and then we'll have partisan gridlock again. They need to quit fighting and get something done, and they should start with paycuts and healthcare and retirement cuts for congress. With all the empty democratic seats due to cabinet appointments and the race in Minnesota they need every vote in the senate they can get. They all need encephalorectolectomies to remove their heaqds from their dark places. Obama is trying to get things done and the Senate is fiddling while we burn.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  49. 2BeLinda

    Seat him and than shun him. End this circus sideshow now for the sake of the voters of Illinois.
    The Senate leaders should give Burris no position of power, or committee assignments. When the citizens of Illinois have a chance to vote for their Senator in the next election let their ballots be the deciding factor.
    The current Gov of Illinois will by then, hopefully, be a small diminished figure in the rear-view mirrors of all decent citizens.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  50. Tim

    Burris has allowed himself to be a pawn in Blago's political game. He's made himself look like a self-rightous, arrogant, circus performer. And nobody needs a circus right now. Yes, they have to seat him, because it is a legal appointment, but come election time, nobody, nobody, nobody, should support him.
    Tim in Texas

    January 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  51. Tom Feagin

    1- Blagojevich is the governor.
    2- He has the right/duty to fill the senate seat.
    3- He named Burris.
    4- The Secy of State did not sign the form.
    5- that is that.
    6- If the secy of state signs the form, then Burris should be seated. If he does not, then we stay in limbo.
    7- The rules are the rules, the law is the law. Whether Blagojevich is "tainted" is irrelevant as long as he is the legal governor.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  52. Lois Camp

    Jack -

    This is like Bush endorsing McCain.

    Birmingham, Al

    January 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  53. Ken in NC

    @ Rose Hann, New London, CT
    That is cute.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  54. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Follow the law and seat him! The signature of the Secretary of State according to the reporting is only ceremonial!

    A written law as far as I am concern does not smell partisan!
    The Governor is still in function no? Innocent until proven guilty. That is the law.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |

    Our Govenor may have done wrong, but Burris didn't. I say let him be the Senator from our great state. The media is all for Jeb Bush being a Senator, didn't he help his brother get the vote. I wonder if all the votes were counted?? 5-4!!!! They thought tainted Palin was going to be all right as vice president. She has ethic charges against her. Be fair. How many Senators haven't been squeeky clean??

    January 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  56. Britney

    well he is a joke he looking for the fame in it all. he talked before any action took place. is this how they treat the president elect former senate seat like its a joke trying to make obama look bad.! wow.


    January 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  57. Ed Palmer

    Gov. Rod Blagojevich spoke foolishly, but as yet he is not indicted for his words, which represent neither a criminal conspiracy nor any choate offense. This does not give the US Senate the authority to refuse his selection of Mr. Burris as Illinois new senator. Neither does it give Illinois' Secretary of State authority to veto the governor's nomination. The Senate should stop taking its lessons from the Bush/Chaney Constitutional play book and ignoring the parts it does not like. Save your rancour for later Senators, because you'll likely need it more during a fight you can win.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  58. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    Our lawmakers in the Senate should remember that we are a nation of laws! That has been ignored for too many years already! Whether they like it or not, Burris was appointed by the Govenor of Illinois, as directed by law! The Govenor may be scum, but he is still the Govenor until he is found guilty of crimes or impeached!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  59. arlene in iowa

    seat him unless you can prove any wrong doings

    January 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  60. Sandi, Chicago

    Being a resident of Illinois, frankly, I am sick and tired of hearing Burris and Bobby Rush play the 'race card'. This issue has nothing to do with race or whether or not Burris is qualified to fill the Senate seat. It does have everything to do with a Govenor who has Federal charges against him for trying to sell 'the Senate seat'. Do we truly know if Burris accepted this appointment without any 'pay-to-play' stipulations? No, we don't. Why was Burris the only one to accept the appointment? Makes me wonder what Burris promised the Gov. down the road...

    January 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  61. Susan/Bel Air, MD

    Jack, I am certainly not a fan of the governor of Illinois. However, the fact that the Illinois Secretary of State refused to certify his appointee means that all the other documents that have been signed by the Secretary should also be declared invalid. How can he pick and choose actions of the the still-governor should be recognized and which should be ignored? I think Governor Blah is despicable, but until he's removed, his legal powers are still valid.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  62. Will K from San Jose

    Have the Democrats learned nothing from Presidential Primary mistakes. There are rules for a reason, you don't get to just make it up as you go along. If they'd just follow the rules they could avoid all the controversy and hang wringing.

    The appointment was legal, Burris should be a Senator. If it's discovered that Burris did something illegal to get the job then he can be charged just like any other Senator.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  63. Jay in Texas

    The Senate should obey the law and seat Burris. Harry Reid is using this issue as a smokescreen to keep the American people and the news media from focusing on the critically important issues facing this country. I think it is terrible that CNN and all other major news sources are spending so much time covering Burris and hardly no time covering the occupation of Iraq where people are dying because of Senator Reid's Senate's role in this illegal war.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  64. Ted

    No, Congress should not "seat" Burris. Burris is quoted on tape as saying NO ONE should be seated by Burris if the IL Governor were to appoint someone before he is impeached? WHY does Burris feel he should be appointed now? What a hypocrite Burris is as ANOTHER classic Illinois thug politician maneuvers for power. Washington is getting crowded by them. Same ol' Same ol'

    January 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  65. wvguy141@suddenlink.net

    if it has been law to have a governor replace senators for years what is problem| is it time to fight this little problem when the country is ready to go to a depression. set the man and if there is a problem then kick him out get down to the major problems. it is no wnder that the government is running on lowest rating since ????? you people fight little problems so you can ignore the big problems

    January 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  66. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    The Senate should obey the law. We have had enough of illegal, anti-American, unconstitutional, Machiavellian slime to last this nation its lifetime.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  67. Andrea, Omaha, NE

    I have mixed feelings about this. Seat this egotiscal fool and his fifteen minutes of fame will be over. He will only be the junior senator and shouldn't be able to do much harm. The intelligent people of the state of Illinois will not reelect him in two years. He has handled this whole situation in the wrong way injecting the race card, when race had nothing to do with it.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  68. Jerry - Toronto, Ontario. Canada

    He's no better or worse than everyone else in the Senate. Time to stop waisting digital celluloid and hot air on a non issue. Let him in and move on to more important things.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  69. Chris C.

    Roland Burris has no evidence against him that implicates any inappropriate action. Since when did the senate get so pius. Check the jails and see how many senators have been there.

    I can't believe Jesse White is stone walling this appointment. Since when does he trump the Governor? This is no way to run a government. Get with it guys!!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  70. Vic R

    I think the Senate should stay out of this mess and let Illinois work it out, no compromise, end of story. Bottom line is, Roland Burris does not have the signature of the Illinois Secratary of State on his certificate. Mr Burris knew that he was not going to get in to the Senate floor and decided to put on this dog and pony show because he thinks that it is irrelevant that he doesn't have the required signature. I wish Wolf Blitzer would have asked him yesterday; If the signature of the Secretary of State is irrelevant then why is there a place for it on the certificate?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  71. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    what they always do in a tough situation PUNT!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  72. Kim - Blair, NE

    Find out WHY Blago appointed him. There is always more to the story than meets the eye.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  73. Harry Lime

    Hey, people of Illinois, have you had enough yet?
    No? Do you still want the same politics in Chicago and outstate? Keep on voting like you do.
    You deserve what you get.

    Harry Lime

    January 6, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  74. Alan, Buxton Maine

    If it can be determined that he was legally appointed they should seat him and get on with business. If the Senate gets to pick and choose who they want and who they don't, why do we bother voting?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  75. Ann from S.C.

    Legally he should be seated, as his appointment follows all legal guidelines. We don't have to like it. The people of Illinois can make the decision in 2010 whether he should continue as their senator should he choose to run. At the same time, maybe the law needs to be revised in some way so that an indicted governor loses his authority until cleared of charges.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  76. Doug in New Mexico

    It seems so simple to me that I am wondering if I am missing something. The Gov. was trying to make a killing on the seat. Just about everyone said any appointment should not be seated. Burris is appointed and says I should be different. Just how do we, or for that matter anyone, know that Burris and the Gov. and Burris don't have a deal. No he should not be seated.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  77. carlton

    Mr burris has a valid position.The senate should seat him.Particularly if caroline kennedy or mr obama's cia director appointment is validated.

    citizen of virginia

    January 6, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  78. Ken M . Millington MI

    Hello Jack Who really knows anymore with this SNAFU ! Who really cares anyways, its all meant to distract and denograte the changing of the guard.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  79. David in San Diego

    He should be sworn in once a certificate of election is received with the required signatures. He should be treated just like any other new Senator: speak infrequently, do constituent service diligently, defer to your state's senior Senator, be forgotten. The full-term Senator will be elected in 2010–Burris or someone else.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  80. Robert in Louisville

    Let me make sure I understand this. A guy gives over $14,000 to the Blagojevich campaign for governor. The governor tries to get something of value from anyone who is willing to pay to get the Senate appointment. Then when his scheme is uncovered, he names the $14,000 donor and both of them expect the Senate, the people of Illinois, and the rest of the country to say, "Oh, OK, no problem."

    And you are asking what should the U.S. Senate do? Come on Jack, next question, please.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  81. Charlotte

    Oh, how Burris was enjoying the media attention he created this moring and he played it to the hilt. Did he surround himself with linebackers because: (a) he felt he needed protection; (b) he wanted to appear even smaller and more pitiful hunched there in the rain; (c) was he making a racisit statement along the lines of that made by his attorney -who threw out inflamatory words like "lynch." Shame shame.

    Don't forget that this is an egomaniac who named both of his children after himself (Roland Jr. and Rolanda – the dog is probably named Rolly.) He is having the time of his life. Team player? HA! not unless the team is called the Rolandites. I say send him and his wife with the unfortunate hats back to Illlinois, back to Rolandville, and find a way to start over with a non-political newcomer.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  82. kaye, Canada

    I don't know what the US senate will do, I hope they reject his appointment for the obvious reasons (that it is made by a corrupt governor) but regardless of that, what does it say about Burris' integrity and sense of rational reasoning when he is so adamant to be seated knowing that blago is not only corrupt and under investigation for auctioning this same seat but is going to be impeached for corruption and unfit to serve charges, probably imprisoned etc, etc. is Burris so power hungry that he doesn't care who the appointer is???? It is also that he knows he will never be able to win a senate seat so this appointment is the only hope he has to make in to the big boys club.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  83. Joe

    KEEP BLOCKING HIM!!! its legal to a point, he's a patsy and doesnt even see it! OPEN YOUR EYES BURRISS!!!! you DON'T belong there!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  84. Marcus Ware

    If George W. Bush can continue to make appointments after all the crimes he has committed and Dick Cheney can shoot someone and still serve, then surely Burris's appointment is legal! He hasn't been convicted of anything yet, so the appointment should stand.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  85. Susan Offner

    Burris should be seated. The Senate behaved appallingly in refusing him his legally bestowed seat. They are punishing the wrong person.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  86. bill - Tampa

    All of our senators should be elected by the people not appointed by a governor. Hold a special election and let the people have their say.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  87. Bob from Illinois

    SEAT HIM!!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  88. Bob Payne

    Why not do what they do best? NOTHING,TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  89. Timothy

    Let's see, the Dems allow Judas Lieberman to retain his stranglehold on the highly sought after Chairmanship of Homeland Security despite effectively spitting in Obama's face in public, yet won't sit a man who has publicly condemend Blag the Impaler? Yep, business as usual for the Democrats. Can't we ever have a GOP Congress that isn't evil and a Democratic Congress that isn't inept? Just once?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  90. Carlton Colquitt

    The Senate should seat him. For a while it looked like Burris was a patsy. Now it looks like Harry Reid is a fool. Either way, we lose again.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  91. Frank

    He should be seated and Harry Reid should be reprimanded for his actions regarding this situation. Simple as that!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  92. Mike Elleby

    I believe that the Senate/Gov't should force Burris to wait until the controversy with Blagojevich is resolved. From that point, an appointment should be made. If it is still him, then great, if not, then let him fight for the appointment then.

    Burrris has shown me that he has not the fortitude nor the integrity to distance himself from scandal, and instead flirt with a cloud of suspicion of the kind of man he is, black or white.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  93. C E

    Blago needs to go out like Warren Beatty in the Bulworth film. Just go all out. If he is going out, take them all with them. The seating is valid, so what is the hold up here?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  94. Prof. William Weston

    He should not be seated. How can we ever restore integrity to government when we allow a tainted process to be successful? As a former Attorney General and thus chief legal officer, he of all people should be mindful. He is simply being opportunistic while playing the race card. This is not about race; it is about honesty and integrity. It is about his contributions to the Governor's political campaigns which would have come out in a confirmation process. If he is a solid and honest lawyer, he should know better.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  95. chris schaap Parsippany, NJ

    Do not allow him to proceed any further. The Obama administration and new Congress can not afford any distractions from Day 1...and
    this will prove to be a major one if they allow him to become Obama's replacement

    January 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  96. Stephen Bierer

    The Senate has no choice but to seat Burris, because there is no cause under the constitution to deny him. They *can* force a lot of hoop-jumping, meaning Blagoyevich can sue the Secretary of State (who is an African-American, making it very troubling that he won't certify Burris – political shenanigans at play) to force him to follow state law and sign the paperwork .... then Burris can sue the Senate to gain his seat. But ultimately he will be seated and it would be better for the Democrat party to do it now rather than go through that entire process.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  97. klunk

    the issue isn't what the senate should do but rather what burris should do... if he were a man of integrity, he would step down under his own initiative...

    January 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  98. DeClown

    But it's ok to let a felon be a senator.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  99. Gloria Maloney

    Seat him. The US Senate cannot create the law to suit their opinions of the day. Lawmakers ignoring the law and doing just as they please is tyranny. Its almost guillotine time.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  100. strnfld

    Innocent until proven guilty or does that apply to Dems?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  101. Pete

    The Governer of Ill. has not been indited by the Federal Government. THe Ill. Senate and congress has yet to impeach hin. Since he has not resigned his seat, the Mr. Burris' appointment is about as legal as it comes

    Millersville, Md

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  102. David

    I am from Illinois and I am embarrassed by the spectacle that Roland Burris and Gov Blagojevich are creating! There is no way Burris would ever be elected in this State to the office of U.S. Senator. He has repeatedly lost in his bid for higher office. I don't trust him any more than I trust Blagojevich. There is a reason Blagojevich appointed him. And it wasn't for the good of the State of Illinois.
    David, Southern Illinois

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  103. Ryan

    The senate should not seat him until an investigation can be done on whether he paid for the seat since they have the governor on tape trying to sell it.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  104. Lee Brasseur

    As a resident of the state of Illinois and a Democrat, I say No Way should Burris be seated as senator. Blagoevich should never have made this appointment. I cannot believe members of congress and commentators on both sides of the aisle are leaning toward seating him. We are rewarding Blagoecvich for breaking all the rules– and who knows what Burris has promised him? I will be very angry at Congress if they seat this man. We citizens of Illinois have been treated very badly through all this and we continue to be.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  105. Rion

    The Senate did exactly what they should have done. Until Mr. Burris has his ducks in a row, he should not be seated.

    San Antonio

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  106. David Richards

    Roland Burris in 2009 is in the same place as William Marbury in 1803. Until the Illinois Supreme Court grants his writ of mandamus he'll just have to wait. This will all get worked out in the end and he'll be seated. But I've got to give him this. He's certainly not camera shy.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  107. Thomas Kalar

    If Obama would "suggest" he favors Burris, Reid, Pelosi and the like are off the branch they prematurely crawled out on...

    Tom Kalar
    International Falls, MN

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  108. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    To save face : have him swear that he did not pay for his seat!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  109. P. Layne

    I wonder if Burris needs to be checked for demtria?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  110. neal

    While Blagoyavich from all reports does seem dirty, and will probably be convicted, the simple fact remains that he is STILL innocent until proven guilty! therefore, he is NOT a convicted felon..."yet"! He lawfully made an appointment, whether you agree with it or not, and the Senate Dems now have egg on their faces for turning him away!! what in the world is happening in this country when our leaders impose THEIR will, instead of the people's!! This is the kind of b.s. that gives other countries and people of the world pause, before embracing our brand of "democracy"!!!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  111. Aaron

    The senate should oust harry and make burris president of the senate.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  112. Juan

    Until the Illinois Secretary of State signs his credentials, he cannot sit in the Senate. Period. This is not about race, this is a simple question of Senate rules – and the US Senate has the power to seat an appointee once their credentials are in order. Talk to Jesse White!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  113. Rune Sign

    Burris should not be seated until it he gets the signature of the secratary of state of Illinois. That forces it back to a state issue – where it belongs.

    North Bend, Or

    January 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  114. MR -K-

    What a loaded question. Why is Roland Burris controversial? Perhaps the governor is controversial, but he is the governor. And perhaps, he is "GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT". But Burris was appointed by the CURRENT governor under CURRENT law. What's the problem?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  115. Larry D. Esper Sr.

    As an Illlinois resident I would rather have one Senator until the second can be elected in 2010. Burris can't get elected as a dog catcher so he jumped on this appointment no matter how disgusting it is. Burris has been blinded by ambition and has become nothing more than a media distraction set up by our "corrupt" Governor.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  116. Mark Harlow

    I'm an Illinois resident. It's pathetic what has happened with King Rod. However, he is still the legal Governor of Illinois. He has not been convicted of any crime. The Senate has no legal right in my opinion to keep Mister Burris from his seat in the Senate. Harry Reed needs to learn quickly that the same groundswell that elected Barak Obama will not view his actions favorably. We hear about the corrupt political atmosphere in Illinois. Senator Reed is demonstrating the same attitude.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  117. HB-

    It's obvious that Burris wants a Senate retiement package and Bla-joke-a-vich wants to sway the black vote in Illinois. Burris has tainted his entire career by teaming up with joke-a-vic.

    Politics does make strange bed fellows. "Alec, May I have political desperation for $1000?"


    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  118. Dino Doulias

    Anyone with intelligence would have rejected the appointment knowing who it came from. I think by this fact alone he should NOT be allowed to take the seat.

    Secondly, judging by his press releases and interviews there is a massive disconnect between this guy and reality. He's just silly.

    Lastly, what's the problem with letting the voters decide? Is that not the purpose of a democracy? The fact that the governors choice can't be appealed to begin with is quite stupid.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  119. Hiwatha

    Obama and others said – We will not let anyone in the senate appointed by the gov.
    I don't think Burris is smart enough to be a senator...cant follow
    And I use the word smart loosely – there are others that should not be senators.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  120. April

    Seat him. His appointment is legal and there is nothing to suggest that he himself engaged in pay to play politics.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  121. Greg from Pa.

    Mr. Burris has done No Wrong, and should have been Accepted into Senate. The Current Governor is still the Legal Governor, regardless of Scandal and Investigation, and Mr. Burris has not been Affiliated with any Wrong Doing. I feel He should be Seated and Given the Respect that any other Jr. Senator would Receive, He has a Long and Honorable Track Record, and Deserves the Post Given. He should not be Used as a Pawn for the Current Politics going on Concerning the Illinois Governor!!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  122. David Janesville WI

    If he can just walk in to the U S Senate reaking of corruption and greed then all the laws that are written to protect little people like all of us from these gangster Illinois politicians are useless. This Blago joker is a domestic terrorist if he thinks he can profit and prosper in his life while just muscling his way around politics in the Mid West. The Senate needs to drag this guy out to the alley, beat him up and through him in the dumpster, they way they like to do it in Illinois.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  123. James

    No! Burris should not be seated! He should have already known this was going to happen with the blag scandal, I think what he really wanted to do was get some publicity out of it in the media... I think he should have his real intentions checked...

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  124. Richard O. Patterson

    Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution says (in relevant part)

    Section 5. Each House shall be the judge of the . . .qualifications of its own members.

    That, my friend, is that.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  125. N.G

    hei Jack, didn't you say that the criminal charge is aganist the Illinois governor and not Mr. Burris. Isn't America not about innocent until proven guilty. Anyway, he is still the governor and his appointment of Burris is legit. The members of the congress are all guilty if the press or the FBI shoould investigate each and every one of them. So, they need to stop and swear in Mr. Burris.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  126. Ed

    I think that it is really absurd that Roland Burris even attempted to go to Washington. Namely Governor Blagojevic was under investigation for corruption and accused of stealing the very seat that he appointed Roland Burris to. The really sad part about all of this was that once Blagojevic appointed Burris to the seat, the feds revoked Blagojevic's security clearance (federal). What that means is that Blagojevic has nothing to do in the Governor's office because almost everything requires security clearance and it also means that he did something that the FBI did not want him to do.
    I don't regard Burris as an innocent as he should've never accepted an appointment from Blagojevic once Blagojevic was arrested for trying to sell this very senate seat. I'm pretty sure that Dick Durbin (senior senator from Illinois) would agree with me.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  127. lorenzo

    With all the corruption in Washington, what's one more corrupt politician.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  128. Natacha B., Lake Balboa,CA

    I'm an African-American woman, and a strong Obama supporter, and it makes my stomach turn how race is being injected in this seat that has NOTHING to do with race. Burris should be denied because he should have never been appointed. The Governor of Illinois is using Burris to take the attention off of him, and it's working. Blago, and Bobby Rush are using race in a wholly inappropriate way and it's terrible. I think Burris is too full of himself to see this is all wrong, and so desperate to become a Senator that he would dismiss the fact that Blago is a huge criminal, it really just makes me sick and I wish they would ALL take a flying leap!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  129. Susan

    Let's stick with no drama. Undertake due diligence on Burris and seat him if he is considered to be ethically acceptable. He is correct, that HE is not the problem. Is that not obvious?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  130. Jim Craddoc

    TURN HIM AWAY. The circus is in town a little early for the inauguration. OH, what would we do without the drama!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  131. James Huston

    They need to seat him and now!! Then get on with the problems of this country.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  132. Pat

    What I don't understand is if this guy is on the up and up and did his due diligence within the political system by checking around as to what the reaction would be, what was he thinking by accepting the nomination to begin with? Is his ego that large that he would accept the nomination under any circumstances? What did he hope to achieve or what is the point he is trying to make knowing he wouldn't be seated before hand?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  133. YCS in Memphis

    Congress has no choice but to do what is legally right. Personally, I think Burris knows exactly what he's doing. He already knew that his credentials would be rejected. He loves the spotlight probably more than Gov. Blago, which is hard to believe. He wasn't the only African-American male to be tapped for this job. He was the one who accepted it.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  134. Sterling In Texas

    Mr. Burris is an idiot. If his ego is so big as to overlook the "BEYOND TAINTED" status of the BozoVich that "appointed" him, minus the signature of the Secretary Of State of Illinois, Burris can not have the brains to do the job.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  135. Mark Fischer

    This is a pretty simple question. Article 1, section 5 of the Constitution states: Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members. This same section is what led to the reconstruction following the Civil War and the requirement that the southern states be readmitted to the Union before their congressional delegates would be seated. There is no higher authority to whom to appeal. What the senate says, goes, period.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  136. Israel Caraballo

    What Burr is doing is a prime example of what is wrong with our legal system. He is legally right in persuing the Senate seat, but morally wrong on so many levels.
    He knew this would create much drama ! He apparenetly enjoys the TV cameras more than doing what is right for his country. What a shame.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  137. Chuck

    It is a no brainer. The Sec of State of Illinois has rightfully NOT signed for the appointment. That is the law Period.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  138. Wayne - Orlando

    Seat him. This is a huge and unnecessary circus that is making the democrats look foolish. So what if Roland Burris is seated. In 18 months he will have to run-not run and we'll see what the citizens of Illinois think of him. I'll bet he'll be dumped by the voters. At least he can stick it on his resume.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  139. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    The Senate should do the same thing as the Illinois Secretary of State: Ignore Him. The Senate doesn't even have to decide about the Governor"s bona fides because the Illinois Secretary of State has given them cover. But certainly, when the majority party had a unanimously signed letter to the Governor to resign and under no circumstance, appoint someone to the seat that we have heard him try to sell via taped phone conversations, they are under no obligation to honor his appointment. He will be impeached with the month and the new governor can appoint whomever he likes, including Burris. However, I think Jesse White would be a better appointee, given Burris' behavior.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  140. Larry Denman

    Why is it that the media and certain extremist want to meake an issue out of a non-issue. Although selected and appointed by the Governor, he knew he was leaving Illinois without proper credentials. His argument, if any, is with the Secretary of State in IL. There is absolutely NOTHING RACIAL attached to this issue. Burris is grandstanding, and shame on Congressman Jackson, Rangel, and anyone else who chooses to make this anything more than it is.

    Go back to IL, get the proper credentials, then proceed to the senate, where the Senate will have to look at this from a purely legal standpoint. Oh, by the way YOU ARE NOT THE JUNIOR SENATOR FROM ANYWHERE UNTIL YOU FOLLOW PROPER PROCEDURE and are properly sworn-in the body

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  141. Tom

    On this matter the Senate should follow the law, just like most of us do every day. I have no idea what the law says on this, but someone should find out before shooting their mouth off about what they will or will not do.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  142. Jeff Crocket

    Harry Reid and Obama have totally blown this legitimate appointment to the seat!!! the media cover up today for the Democrats is palpable. Where were the protesters – Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton!!

    The whole Democrat machine looks very bad in the fiasco!!

    Seat Burris and live with it Dems!!!!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  143. Augustine

    Jack,he should be seated without any delay.If the governor was this criminal under survelance for three years,surely the have nothing criminal enough against him. The democrats want to use the out going bad guy,s (GB) style to deny a black senator.i.e the ruling party controls the judiciary and tells them what to do.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  144. Lars

    Burris is the LEGAL Senator as long as Blago is the legal governor. The Senate should have erred on the side of the law instead of playing the obviously dishonest role of using the technicality of a signature that should have been applied. If given the choice, I would not support the Illinois Secretary who played politics. In the end, the Senate and the Illinois Secretary end up "tainted" and Blago and Burris are on the right side of the law. BURRIS SHOULD BE SEATED.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  145. Del Martin

    It doesn't seem to me that this appointment has anything to do with the interests of the people of Illinois. The "Appointer" is a rat, trying to save his skin, and the appointee is a self serving weasel ready to fight the US Congress for his bit of glory. Y'know what?

    In this electronic age, Congressmen (and Women) are redundant and have no real function anymore. Representative government can be replaced by email. Think about it. Nice, huh?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  146. Maureen

    Seat him.
    Look at this as an opportunity to preview Burris. Besides there are provisions to oust him that are already in place if they determine there was anything nefarious in his appointment.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  147. ARN

    Jack – to just get it over with, the Senate should go ahead and seat Burris – after they cut down the legs on his chair, deny him any committee position, and permanently give his voting buttons an "undiagnosable electrical problem".

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  148. Norma Sellman

    Roland Burris should be seated by the Senate, if his credentials are in order (as they appear to be). The governor of Illinois is the one accused of wrong doing, not Mr. Burris. There is no suggestion that Mr. Burris has colluded with Governor Blagojevich. And by the way, the Governor is still sitting and legally entitled to make this appointment.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  149. Alex

    The US Senate should not allow this to happen. Our President Elect even stated this is not the proper way to appoint Roland Burris. Jack how many corrupt governors does Illinois need? I bet George Ryan would love to share a cell with Rod since Rod ruined any chance of Bush pardoning George Ryan.

    As an Illinois resident I say impeach the Governor and any appointments he make are null and void.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  150. P. Layne

    Plus way too much going on I want to know why did Burris accept this appointment? Does he need it that bad or is there something else at stake? Why not wait until all of the legal mess is over?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  151. Stephen Lee

    The Senate should seat Ronald Burris without delay, unless it has evidence to reject him based on his qualifications. And there does not appear to be such evidence. The US principle of "innocent until proven guilty" is most treasured and highly regarded by the whole world. Those senators who put up the barriers against Burris ought to be ashamed.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  152. Danielle, Nashville, TN

    Jack, I think that they should not seat Mr. Burris. Even though constitutionally the governor had the right to appoint someone to this position, the fact that he is under investigation of attempting to get paid for the seat should bar him from doing so. Anyone who would gleefully accept the appointment from a man that would do such, shouldn't be a Senator anyway.
    This whole thing about there won't be a black person in the senate is another distraction. People knew that there was a possibility that there wouldn't be a black person in the senate when Barack Obama announced his candidacy. Democrats and Republicans had two years to get another black person to run, and as a young black female this is a major "boy who cried wolf' issue that does not help those of us who attempt combat REAL discrimination.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  153. Sally

    I wrote my US senator (Chris Dodd) to please not waste precious senate time on this matter. Roland Burris was legally appointed (albeit by someone who violated the trust of his state), nevertheless, Burris should be seated and allowed to run, should he choose to, in 2010.

    Enough of politics and let the senators get to work to restore our economy, save people's homes, and create jobs. Someone needs to be monitoring how the TARP funds are being used and someone needs to figure out how to regulate greed in this country so capitalism is not destroyed.

    Sally, Branford, CT

    January 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  154. Kelly {San Diego}

    They should check him for leprosy, 'cause I heard that stuff's contagious.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  155. John Clay

    Here's Burris' take, plain and simple;"Seat me, or pay me." Sad isn't it!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  156. john

    The U.S. Senate is wrong for them to denide any Senator a seat and Reid has no authority to who a state picks as Senator or congressman. The Governor did not have to discuss who he appoints, he's well within his right and Reid can go sit on a rattlesnake. He is a hi-tech rasict who wants and all white senate like they had all white juries in Mississippi. That lench black people, The NAACP and the black congress should raise up against this action.
    You can hate the governor but deniding Illonois fair repensentation they are guilty as was King George III of england

    January 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  157. ellen

    If he's seated it sets the price of a senate seat at $14,000. and, really, I could afford that. Please let me know when the next one is available. I need a job and wouldn't mind paying for it. The perks are so good, after all.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  158. Dave

    Jack, this is simple. It's the art of compromise. Burris should be seated providing that Blago resigns.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  159. Kurt Clemmens

    The Senate should collectively make a statement that their objection to Burruss is not legal but moral. When a dirtbag taps your shoulder and makes you a knight . . . and you accept . . . you are not a knight; you are just another dirtbag. Burruss would have earned most American's approval, both Democrats and Republicans if he had rejected the offer.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  160. Jody - Destin FL

    Burris should be welcomed into the senate because it's the RIGHT THING TO DO.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  161. Amanulla Khan

    Mr.Burris is well aware of the context in which he is offered the senate seat. Mr.Burris reminds me of the greedy,cunning fox tasting the blood of the fighting goats.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  162. Deborah, Los Angeles

    Let me get this straight: Bush, Cheney, Rummy and Rice design the torture policy and impeachment is off the table. Rove and Myers defy Congressional subpoenas and they are free to roam the world without fear of arrest. But the LEGALLY APPOINTED Burris shows up to take his Senate seat and, boy oh boy!, Reid is gonna grow a couple and make sure 'grandpop' is barred from entering the chamber. Absolutely stunning!

    Blagoevich is a bum and I think Burris should have refused the offer, but the appointment is legal. Reid and the other congressional paper tigers need to focus on the dire battles facing our country instead of trying to engage their years-late machismo on this issue!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  163. Sherrol in Canada

    He was 'legally' appointed, so should be seated. Burris however, gives new meaing to "by any means necessary". Not even the people of IL want him in publice office, they rejected him a few times in the past for Mayor and other offices and I'd imagine they know him better then we do.

    HIs blind ambition for higher office lead to poor judgement in accepting Blago's appointment.

    No one wants anyone who would stoop this low to represent them.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  164. Bill

    If he is truly qualified, in all areas for the Senate, and is there truly for the people, seat him, and if not send him down the road and quit wasting tax payer’s money. It’s time for our government to grow up!

    Bill, Summerville SC

    January 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  165. Donna Mae

    Burris was appointed by a Governor who is under scrutiny for trying to sell Pres. Elect Barack Obama senate seat. The Senate did the right thing to turn Burris away from the Chambers. It would be an unnecessary disruption to Congress should Burris try to sue for the senate seat.

    Donna Mae
    Anaheim, California

    January 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  166. Bill, Anaheim, Ca

    The Senate will do just what we are all accustomed to. Afterall we are just working Americans and have resolved ourselves to the fact that the President-elect, the House and Senate will continue to make decisions in their best interest only. This is Change? Obama, the Ledgislature and the Courts will be status-quo ,as in the past, for many years to come. Only until all Americans can't pay taxes, are broke, dying, too ill or dead will the Government be valued for what it is........absolutely NOTHING!!!!!!!!!


    January 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  167. wayne in san diego

    Obama was elected in Nov. but doesn't become president until sworn in in Jan. Burris was appointed senator but also doesn't become one until sworn in. By the way, if Obama hasn't resigned as senator, wouldn't he still be one until Jan 20?-(and could still cast votes?). Or, if his resignation hasn't been oficially certified in Ill., couldn't he still withdraw it and moot the Buriss appointment?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  168. phil from florida

    the senate should fight for the peolpe of Illinois. let the people vote in their senator it is afterall an elected position

    January 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  169. jannet

    jack, the whole senate is tainted, in fact i think the whole country is tainted, blagoyevich is not the only one tainted, the system is also tainted. god help us!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  170. Pastor David A. Houston

    Greeting, Jack.
    By Law Senator Burris will win, according to the law.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  171. Catherine

    Just like Blagojevich, Burris is muscling his way in any which way he can, flashing the race card in hopes of intimidating the weak-willed Reid. Burris is elderly and seems to be losing ground mentally, but really knows how to take advantage of the situation. There are so many more "with it" and savvy African Americans who would be a better choice for the Senate. Why not a black female? Waterford, Michigan

    January 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  172. Ced

    If you are legally called to duty, would you back down from it? That's the question we should be asking before we scorn Burris's decision to head down to Washington even though he had some idea of the outcome. Currently, the Senate seems to be worried more about their future political gains. If the Dems accept Burris, then the GOP could later exploit it. Someone should ask Sen. Reid about forgiving Joe Lieberman, even after he (Lieberman) testified against Obama in front of the entire GOP at the convention.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  173. D. Lyle

    One of the reasons cited by majority leader Reid, for blocking the seating of Roland Burris is to "supposedly protect the integrity of the Senate", what a joke. Where was the moral stand on protecting the Senate's integrity in the case of Larry "wide-stance" Craig, Ted "give me gifts" Stevens, or the countless other Senators who has historically used the bully-pulpit of the senate to make the "N" word a part of legislative debate vernacular during the civil rights era. If the siting Governor signs the certificate that is all the constitution requires.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  174. Julie Philips

    For Heaven's sake..The Senate should seat Burris and be done with it. Don't we have enough troubles in this country? This is like a bunch of school yard kids, all trying to power play the next guy. It's time these spolied brats grow up and tend to what they are paid to do. Maybe this go round they will actually do something constructive. I personally wish we could get rid of most of them and start fresh, with new ideas and no special interests.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  175. Ray

    It seems like as in most cases: The Senate attempts to do what
    they ( thoses in power) want rerguardless whether it is really within the LAW or not. Harry Reid is doing what he doing only, because he can. He has no legal right to not seat Mr. Burris. Certainly, the Senate has a lot more important issues to tackle than this one. Whether anyone likes it or not, Roland Burris was duely appointed. Same ole, SAME OLE ! Let's get something acomplished !!!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  176. Susan

    I do not think Burris should be allowed to take the Senate seat! I am from Southern Illinois and I truly belive Blagojovich engineered this whole appointment of Burris as a way of sticking it to the Illinois Democrats one more time before he is impeached. No other reputable politician would even have considered taking that appointment.......only Roland Burris. Its the only way he can get another elected office in Illinois. Burris is a joke in Illinois and I am very suspect of his relationship with Blagojevich.
    Susan, Southern Illinois

    January 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  177. Frank King

    The FBI agent blowing the whistle on the Illinois Governor recited the most basic issue involved in the prosecution of a criminal "He is presumed innocent, until proven guilty". Those actions haven't started yet , let alone be over with a "guilty" verdict. So we have an "innocent" Governor, who has the sole right to appoint a Senator to fill a vacant seat for the balance of the term. As far as we know Senate appointee Burris was not in any "pay for play" act asserted against the Governor. Burris was appointed. The certification is deficient without the state Secretary of State of illinois. It seems like a clerical act of the Secretary of State, and soon presumably the Illinois State Courts will compel that signature be given. Until then the Senate has right to reject the qualifications. But after that, the constitutional issues in Article one, explained on CNN, all relate to some questions about the conduct of the Candidate, Mr. Burris, not about his state or the governor who appointed him. There is no cloud of bad conduct on Mr. Burris' part, so what is left the vague political rule, "It just seems wrong". That isn't right or lawful.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  178. Buzzy Morse

    The question is really what Burris should do with a recommendation that comes from a suspected felon. He says there is no taint–but what could be more tainted than this particular recommendtion? His well-earned respect will be better cared for by his refusing this "recognition" by a scum bag and third world politician without principle. It is shameful that there is not a "law" that clearly states that when you have been suspected or proven to have shamefully misused your privileges, you loose all rights until otherwise proven innocent. It is just another example of the degradation of a lazy, misguided government. He should not be recognized until duly supported by individuals with respect, integrity, and good intentions. Do they exist ?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  179. Rufus in Twentynine Palms, CA

    White Majority Leader Reid, the Grand Dragon of Las Vegas, and the rest of his Senatorial White KKKaucus Klanmen should check themselves before they wreck themselves. Nothing screams white supremacy like 100 old wrinkly white people cloistered in a room making up all the rules. Ditch the nooses Harry and give Brother Burris his seat…he earned it fair and square.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  180. j/NJ

    When it comes to Roland Burris, the controversial Senate appointee from Illinois, what should the U.S. Senate do?

    Seat him immediately, the Illinois Governor's appointment is arguably Constitutional, this matter should not be in dispute...not surprisingly Senate Democrats have erroneously claimed an illusion of authority, at the moment the best they can do is intimidate Burris in agreeing to compromise his position, if the impasse continues the people of Illinois should decide the outcome, not the Legislature nor the Courts...

    January 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  181. Mary

    Regarding Burris, the Senate should follow through with blocking Burris from being seated. The Gov. of Illinois knew just what he was doing with the choice he made. He chose Burris likely knowing race would come up as it has. And unfortunately, he chose someone who he must have known would take the seat no matter how it came to him. I'm sure Blagolavich is snickering somewhere & enjoying all the fuss.
    Mary – Laurel, NY

    January 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  182. Cathlyn

    Continue to block the swearing-in of Burris. Not only is his appointment tainted, but a man who is willing to accept an appointment under such circumstances and with such obvious desperation (declaring his “integrity” and that the 'Lord ordained' his Senate seat) is too reminiscent of the past eight years of the right wing “moral” administration/leadership. ENOUGH!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  183. Mary

    What a Banana Republic this has become. The charges against Blagojevich are nothing less than hypocritical. What he did was cross The Chicago Tribune mobster and Bank of America Cartel when they wouldn't pay the Chicago factory workers. He stood up to the mafia and he is paying the price. Burris should be voted in by the people of Chicago. I feel like I've been living in Zimbabwe for the past 8 yrs. Will it ever end? SEAT him and stop the D-list theater. Harry Reid and Pelosi are both senile and should step down.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  184. Pat - San Antonio, TX

    Jack, I have to agree with the actyion taken by the Senate today. Mr. Burris should have had the decency and intelligence to stand down his appointment and wait for a process to play out, considering the controversy surrounding the govenor that appointed him. This shows lack of character on Mr Burris's part.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  185. Philip Skinner

    Jack, Burris heard the news like every one else. he saw a way in and went along with Blogloiavitch no mater what anyone else thinks of it. now they won't be able to apoint someone without a shadow of wrong doing.
    p.s. we plan on buying your book. thanks

    January 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  186. mike

    This has been a political witch hunt in IL. for the last few years. The Governor will not play business as usual politics with Michael Madigan. Michael Madigan has been doing everything he can to try and discredit the Governor including long drawn out budget agreements, and not cooperating with the governor to resolve the disputes. Special sessions called by the governor have been ignored by Madigan and his cronies. I think It is Michael Madigan that should be being investigated by the feds, but that will not happen since his daughter is the IL. states attorney heading up the charges, and a Governor hopeful herself!
    I think this is all blown out of proportion by the Madigan's and the media and the Governor has not been indicted for any wrong doing even after 3 years of investigation.
    The practice of asking for campaign fund contribution transfers is a standard practice according to the media reports I have been hearing long before this case ever came out.
    As an example I heard that it is normal for a presidential nominee to ask for the endorsement of the person they beat in the primary in return for a transfer of campaign funds to the losers fund to pay off debt.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  187. Ron from Roswell

    For Jack and the rest of America.
    Rule II, Standing rules of the Senate:

    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.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  188. Don Lasko

    Roland Burris sold his soul by accepting this nomination in order to fill that blank space he has on his gravestone with the title of US Senator/only African American Senator 2009-2011. There are terms for this kind of African American but most people today are wary of using them. Look at the irony. Barack Obama is President and his senate seat goes to an African American who gets what he wants by collaborating with the white man crook in the big house in Illinois, Land of Lincoln. I thought after eight years we were finally in the 21st Century and here we are in 19th Century America before the Emancipation Proclamation. Wow!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  189. Melissa in Jupiter, FL

    The fact that Mr. Burris chose to accept the appointment displays his lack of good judgement. That alone should be enough to show he is not acceptable for the position. And now his opportunistic behavior is going to cost the taxpayers for his quest to stay in the spotlight, proceed through the courts and steal the position – unless he's already paid for it.....

    January 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  190. Peter M

    Dems need to stop this nonsense. Think about the PR or the mechanics. This guy is replacing the only Black Senator. He is highly accomplished, has done nothing wrong and, he is replacing the President-elect.

    Anymore public humiliation of this only Black Senator; a lynching as one Congressman called it, will exact a dear price on Dems. Burris is not the problem. Give him his seat, or risk appearing like a bunch of White racists, an exclusive club akin to what Tiger Woods encountered when he first won his Green Jacket. Get off it, save yourselves a blot of public ridicule.

    The Us Senate is not the cleanest nor is it admirable. Reid, get off your high horse. You are no cion of virtue.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  191. Ivan L. Fail

    DON'T seat Burris! He is the stuffed shirt opportunist "Race Card Joker" being played by the political con artist and crook in the Ilinois Governor's office in order to gain nation wide African American loyaklty, gratitude and allegience to the governor and fierce opposition to the Governors impeachment and indictment.
    This is racketeering, strong arming, hard ball Chicago politics at it's most corrupt -, and Chicago politics is the sole reason that I changed my mind about voting for Obama and voted for McCain instead. This scam tells me that my "gut hunch" was right and my decision to vote against Chicago Politics was sound. But I wager that Burris will evenually be confirmed in order to avoid a lot of "societal unrest". -, Chicago style. -, just as the governor "is betting on".

    January 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  192. Charles

    What kind of man would accept an appointment that he knows is tainted? (And he does know this, no matter what he says in public.)
    The mere fact that he accepted the appointment is an indication that his own integrity is suspect. The Senate should refuse to seat him. He is just another creature of Illinois' corrupt politics.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  193. R Lloyd

    Add this to the list of stories to which there must be something more . simply put, Harry Reid either has a fully functioning crystal ball or he should send a special thank you letter to the Illinois secretary of state whose failure to certify Mr. Burris gave a basis at law for Mr. Reid's premptory refusal to accept Mr. Burriss.

    Did I miss something? Mr. Burriss is a life long democrat who despite the stink of Ill. Gov. Blagoivich, will add to the democratic majority in the senate? Democratic numbers in the senate alone create a certain level of confusion to the fact that a Democratic Reid was pre-emptively leading the charge to black Burris (or whomever was selected by Blagoivich) . unless this specific political circus is being played out in order to find some legitimate moral basis to preclude Burriss (which again Reid must have foreseen in his aforementioned crystal ball.) Or we prove once again, even in Power the Democratic party is inept and too interested in political circus to step out of the way and take a win when it is presented on a ilver platter.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  194. Clinton J. Smith

    My country. The rule of law. No the rule of like or dislike. Innocent until proven guilty. Guilty until proven innocent. The govener is the governer and has not been found guilty. Senator Burris should not make deals not to run in the future, it is is right as any other American. This should not be an issues. I am ashamed of my country. Too be so strong so weak so wrong.

    Atlanta, Georgia

    January 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  195. Dave - Montreal

    Jack,Jack,Jack,Jack,Jack...this is the wrong question. The question should be: What should Roland Burris do? Any respectful person with a moral conscience would not have accepted the position from Blagojevich. The senate should now considered Mr. Burris unworthy of the senate seat and rightfully did not allow him access today.

    Shame on Mr. Burris for going to Washington and making this a news story, a fiasco if you ask me. Shame on Mr. Burris for not having more respect for the proper political process and most importantly for President elect Obama...as if he doesn't have enough on his plate as it is without these further distractions.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  196. jannet

    this is a movie starring blagoyevich, burris and reid. we already seen part 1, let's wait for part 2, then we will give a rating.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  197. Mike M - Gardner, IL

    Bottom line is, the Illinois General Assembly is at fault for this (namely, the Democrats). It should be the people’s choice who fills this tainted senate seat, but the Dems were so worried that a Republican might fill the seat that they did not take the appointment power away from Blago. Illinois Dems only care about themselves, not the people for whom they represent. I belive that I am a victim of taxation without representation, and I’d like a 100% refund of my 2008 IL income taxes. By the way, does Burris get a full pension from being a two year senator?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm |