Burris Rebuffed In United States Senate

01.06.09 | FL News Team

As expected, Illinois appointee Roland Burris was prevented from being sworn-in as a U.S. Senator. Burris' certificate of appointment was rejected by the Secretary of the Senate. In a brief statement, Burris said he'll be consulting with his attorneys.

Senate Democrats have insisted that they won't seat Burris because he was appointed by embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich was recently arrested for allegedly trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Burris was greeted by Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terry Gainer and a representative of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and was escorted to the office of the Secretary of the Senate. After that, he led a horde of news reporters across the street from the Capitol for a brief news conference. 

Barack Obama resigned his Senate seat shortly after being elected President. The 71-year-old Burris, a Democrat, is a former Illinois Attorney General. With Obama moving to the White House, Burris would be the only African-American in the Senate.

Democrats have praised Burris and have insisted that the refusal to seat him has nothing to do with him and everything to do with Governor Blagojevich. Leading Democrats have called on Blagojevich to resign.