State Supreme Court Rules That Burris Can Serve

Posted January 9, 2009 at 3:41pm

Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris (D) moved one step closer to becoming the junior Senator from Illinois on Friday.

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that Secretary of State Jesse White’s (D) signature does not have to be present on the certificate of appointment for Burris to become a Senator, according to local news reports. Burris delivered the certification materials to the Capitol on Tuesday, only to be turned away from the Secretary of the Senate because he was lacking that signature.

White has refused to sign the document because of the corruption scandal surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), who appointed Burris to the Senate. The Illinois House voted to impeach Blagojevich on Friday.

The Supreme Court’s decision throws the ball back to Senate Democrats, who earlier this week looked to the high court to determine Burris’ eligibility for office.

An aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the office was not yet prepared to comment, though the Secretary of the Senate might release a statement late on Friday.

Meanwhile, Burris released a statement applauding the court’s decision.

“I am very happy that the Supreme Court ruled supporting our argument that everything surrounding this appointment was legal and complete,” Burris said. “This appointment meets the qualifications required by the U.S. Senate of all Gubernatorial appointees to fill vacated seats.”