Roland Burris Seated in U.S. Senate

By Hunter Owens (Co-Founder, Editor In Chief, Columnist) [?]

Published: January 22, 2009 and Updated: May 4, 2009
Original LA News Desk Content

Recently, Roland Burris received word from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) that he, after much controversy, would be seated in the United States Senate. Burris was picked by impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who stands accused of, among other things, trying to sell the Senate seat that Burris will be taking, that used to belong to the President.

Reid had initially said that seating Burris would be very difficult, however pressure from various sources, including the African-American community leadership, led to Reid and Durbin retracting. The legality of not seating Burris was also questioned, but Senator Dianne Fienstein (D-CA), head of the Rules Committee, said that her conditional review of the matter was that Burris had to be seated as long as he was not involved in the scandal. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), head of the judiciary committee, consented saying "we have to seat him" as long as he was not involved with the scandal. This marks a setback for Harry Reid, since his once violent opposition turned into a somewhat forced acquiescence to the appointment.

Blagojevich will soon be standing trial in the Illinois senate after his recent impeachment by a vote of 141-1 in the state house. As it stands, the only remaining senate seat to be filled is that of Minnesota (where the recount has finished, with writer and comedian Al Franken of the Democratic Party defeating Republican Sen. Norm Coleman by less than 200 votes). The race is being challenged in court by Sen. Coleman, and no one will be sworn in until the court case is resolved. However, Coleman recently took a position at the Jewish Republican Coalition.)

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