Roland Burris won his certification battle before the Illinois Supreme Court on Friday, but Senate leaders say the ruling only strengthens their opposition to seating him in their chamber.
Burris was handed an apparent victory when the court ruled that Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White does not have to sign the certification paperwork by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, meaning Burris’s appointment to the Senate last month is valid.
White had vowed not to sign the papers because of the corruption charges against Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to sell President-elect Obama’s former seat.
“Under the Secretary of State Act, the Secretary’s sole responsibility was to register the appointment, which he did,” wrote Judge Lloyd Karmeier in a nine-page opinion. “No further action is required by the secretary of state or any other official to make the governor’s appointment of Roland Burris to the United States Senate valid under Illinois law.”
Of course, Reid is continuing to stonewall.
But Senate leaders say just the court’s ruling means just the opposite. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) have said Burris won’t be seated without such certification, and a senior Senate aide said the court ruling bolsters that claim since White now cannot be forced to sign the paperwork.
Now, this is gonna cause problems with seating Al Franken, which Reid wants to do, because Franken won’t have a signed certification until after Norm Coleman’s lawsuits are handled.
But, hey, Reid and the rest of the Senate Democrats shouldn’t have any problem with that double-standard. They sure have plenty of others.
Update and bump: If you want a good, solid explanation of why Reid’s assertions of Senate Rules don’t hold any water, see this post on NRO’s Bench Memos.