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Circus Maximus

A lot has happened since I posted Friday morning about how Barack Obama blew it on the Roland Burris matter. Friday afternoon the Supreme Court of Illinois ruled that Burris doesn’t need the signature of the secretary of state to join the U.S. Senate, essentially ruling that registering the appointment by Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) was enough.

Burris had asked the court to compel the secretary of state, Jesse White, to sign the certification — what Burris thought was the last impediment to taking over Obama’s old Senate seat. After the ruling, White insisted he still wouldn’t sign the certification, saying he “could not and will not in good conscience sign my name to any appointment made by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.” However, and more importantly, White registered the appointment and provided paperwork to prove it, according to the Chicago Tribune, which his lawyers provided to Senate Democrats.

“He is now the junior senator from the state of Illinois,” declared Timothy Wright, one of Burris’s lawyers. “It’s done.”

If only that were the case. Now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is insisting on the certification signature and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Friday that impeachment should proceed so that a new governor (Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn) could name a replacement.

“At this point, we’ve clearly reached an impasse,” Durbin told reporters at a press conference. “In this case, there is a missing signature under Senate rules.”

Of course, Burris is going nowhere, and if he isn’t seated, is planning to challenge Reid’s decision in court. Apparently Senate Democrats haven’t had enough of the distracting, mortifying circus, and would like the spotlight-loving Burris to give them all he’s got. I imagine it’s limitless.

FREE ROLAND BURRIS!! ARE YOU WITH ME ON THIS ONE? Ask A.B. returns Tuesday, Jan. 13. Please join my weekly video Q & A by sending your questions and comments to Thank you.

Tags Barack Obama Burris Democratic Caucus of the United States Senate Dick Durbin Dick Durbin Government of Illinois Governor of Illinois Harry Reid Illinois Jesse White Pat Quinn Person Career Person Communication Person Location Politics Quotation Rod Blagojevich Rod Blagojevich corruption charges Roland Burris United States Senate career of Barack Obama

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