Illinois Governor Blagojevich appoints Roland Burris for vacated U.S. Senate seat

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Rod Blagojevich, who appointed Burris.
Image: United States Congress.

Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fill President-elect Barack Obama's vacated United States senate seat.

President-elect Obama and U.S. Senate Democratic leaders, however, say they will not accept the appointment from the governor, who is accused of pay to play politics and was arrested earlier last month on charges of corruption.

Obama declared in a statement that "Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat," adding that "the best resolution would be for the governor to resign his office and allow a lawful and appropriate process of succession."

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White also says he will not accept the appointment from Blagojevich. As the custodian of the Great Seal of the State of Illinois, whose use is required to formalize state documents, his refusal to certify the writ of election would indefinitely stall the appointment.

"Although I have respect for former Attorney General Roland Burris, because of the current cloud of controversy surrounding the Governor, I cannot accept the document," stated White.