Friday, January 2, 2009

Roland Burris from The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, "I am the junior senator from the state of Illinois" (Audio)

Burris says that he is the Junior Senator of Illinois

“Well, the process will be this. We will travel to Washington on Monday. We will appear at the Senate chambers on Tuesday when the Senate is in open session. I will more than likely be denied entry, and then I will leave,” he said, adding that the Senate’s number two Democrat, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, is trying to arrange a meeting Wednesday morning with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Blagojevich, Burris, and some constitutional law experts believe that Senate Democrats do not have the authority to block an appointment. While Blagojevich is facing criminal charges, he remains governor with all of the authority provided to the office. Illinois state legislators dropped the ball on an initial plan to pass emergency legislation that would have required a special election to fill the seat, and are now moving forward with impeachment proceedings.

“What [Democrats] didn’t take into consideration…is the fact that the governor is the governor. He has a constitutional and legal authority to appoint a replacement for the United States Senate when there is a vacancy,” Burris said, “And for them to summarily say that they aren’t going to seat that person does not withstand all of the precedents and the law.”



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