Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced on Tuesday his choice of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fill Illinois’ vacant Senate seat.
Rod Blagojevich, the most recent Illinois governor to be mired in scandal, is finding himself at odds with his own party after Democratic leaders announced Tuesday that Blagojevich’s attempt to fill Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat will be blocked, much to the disappointment of Blagojevich and his appointee, Roland Burris.
Blagojevich, released on bail after being arrested, is accused of trying to sell to the highest bidder the Senate seat left by Obama’s job promotion.
The New York Times:
Within an hour of learning on Tuesday that Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was about to name a Senate successor to President-elect Barack Obama, the Senate Democratic leadership drew a clear line in the sand: Anyone appointed by Mr. Blagojevich, the embattled Illinois chief executive, would not be accorded Senate membership.
But that declaration has touched off questions of whether Democrats have the power to keep out Mr. Blagojevich’s pick, Roland Burris, a former state attorney general. It is likely that the issue will end up in court.
Democrats said they were confident of their standing under Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution, which says “each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own members.” On rare occasion, the Senate has denied seats to candidates whose election outcome was in doubt or who were caught up in corruption.