Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Burris Takes Legal Action To Enforce Senate Appointment
Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris to the Senate vacancy of Barack Obama yesterday under the U.S. Constitution and Illinois law, but Burris' appointment is being frustrated by state and Senate leaders. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White won't perform his ministerial act of signing Burris' appointment by the governor so the certification can be furnished to the Secretary of the Senate, the first step in being sworn into office. Burris has petitioned the Illinois Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus, compelling White to perform an act required of him by law. Once Burris crosses this hurdle, he will still face a second in the U.S. Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to block Burris from taking a seat in the Senate even though he possesses the constitutional qualifications to serve in the Senate. A controlling U.S. Supreme Court decision, Powell v McCormack, makes it unconstitutional for Congress to impose qualifications beyond those set forth in the U.S. Constitution when deciding whether to seat a duly-elected or appointed member.