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January 09, 2009

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Secretary Of States Signature On Senate Appointment Irrelevant But Senate Isn't Budging

Well, this is getting messy.

The Illinois Supreme Court on Friday ruled Democrat Roland Burris' appointment to the U.S. Senate valid, which could move him a step closer to taking President-elect Barack Obama's vacant seat.

The court said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White does not have to certify Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appointment proclamation and that "no further action" by any state officer was required to seat Burris in the Senate.

The Senate may think otherwise.

A senior Senate Democratic aide involved says that "Burris is where he was a week ago" and cannot be seated in the US Senate.

In essence, the Illinois ruling appears to find that the Roland Burris appointment does not require Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to certify it for it to be official under Illinois state law. But while Illinois statute doesn't appear to require Secretary of State's signature, the Senate rules do, according to the interpretation of Senate Democratic Leadership.

Will the Senate Democrats back down? If not Burris will likely wind up going to federal court to get an order telling the Senate their rule about requiring the Secretary of States' signature isn't constitutional. Given the precedent of Powell v. McCormack, he'd likely win.

Most fun scenario...it isn't resolved before Blago gets convicted in the Illinois Senate and then the new Governor appoints someone else to the seat. I'd pay good money to see Burris fighting the new Governor's appointee to the seat.


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posted by DrewM. at 03:00 PM

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