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This just in… Burris to appeal special election ruling

Thursday, Aug 5, 2010

* 2:19 pm - You had to figure this would happen

Illinois Sen. Roland Burris is moving ahead with a legal challenge to a judge’s decision blocking new candidates from filing to run in a special election for the final months of President Barack Obama’s old Senate term.

Burris filed a notice Wednesday evening indicating that he will appeal U.S. District Judge John Grady’s ruling that the parties’ nominees for the Nov. 2 general election would automatically be placed on the ballot as nominees for a special election to serve between Election Day and the start of the next Congress.

That decision would make Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Rep. Mark Kirk the major-party candidates in a special. But Burris wants the option of running for the seat himself, in order to serve an additional few weeks in his appointed office. […]

“He’s not concerned about serving or not serving two months,” Wright said. “If this is going to be a critical time to vote, then you need somebody who’s been there.”

It just never ends here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:25 pm:

    Well judging by the Politico video that was posted in another thread, it looks like Burris almost has a grasp of Senate rules for debate. It would be a shame to have him leave early after all that practice with the gavel.

    The motion to defer is, um, something, uh…, little help? Another few months and he’ll learn what “point of order” means.

  2. - Pale Rider - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:25 pm:

    Does his sense of self importance know any bounds?

  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:26 pm:

    Maybe Burris wants on the tombstone:

    “Winner of Special Election for US Senate seat”

    Just a thought ….

  4. - Wensicia - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:32 pm:

    He’s been there? How much of him was there in the video of him tying to chair proceedings? Peter Sellers in ‘Being There’ comes to mind.

  5. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:33 pm:

    Will he just go away!!!

  6. - Stones - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:39 pm:

    Mr. Burris seems to be focused on screwing up what used to be a pretty decent legacy.

  7. - Been There - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:41 pm:

    While I will agree that this special election is just plain stupid, I think Roland has a point. Not one that I would put any effort into helping with but the judge should have also opened up a way for independents to get on the ballot and not just those already on the ballot for the real election.
    Actually, it would have been interesting to see how much support Roland would get getting signatures and then getting bounced in a petition challenge.

  8. - MrJM - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:46 pm:

    It’s madness.

    And I mean that in the most literal of senses.

    – MrJM

  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:49 pm:

    I’m with Burris on this one. Why does a federal judge get to select the candidates in any election?

    The judiciary sat on this issue for months, only to come late to the ballgame with their ridiculous ruling mandating a special election.

  10. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:51 pm:

    Gee, if we had the special election when it was supposed to have been held, all these problems would have been negated.

    Thanks Democrats! Your opposition to a special election has lead to this mess. Now Roland wants to be the icing on the cake?

    But let’s not forget who got us into this huge mess in the first place.

  11. - Team America - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:54 pm:

    Run, Roland, Run!

  12. - Yukon - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:54 pm:

    Burris should be satisfied with his ill-gotten “Senator” title. Does he want to PROVE that he’s not electable? He wasn’t concerned with fighting for a timely special election.

  13. - BigTwich - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:54 pm:

    “Gee, if we had the special election when it was supposed to have been held, all these problems would have been negated.”

    I believe the Judge indicated the only date the Governor could have designated for a special election was the general election this November. So, we are having an election when we should.

  14. - Been There - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 2:54 pm:

    ===Thanks Democrats! Your opposition to a special election has lead to this mess===
    Not all Dems Louis. Marty Oberman, who was behind the lawsuit, was a Dem last time I noticed.

  15. - OneMan - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 3:10 pm:

    Perhaps we can get Bill on the ballot….

  16. - Tom Joad - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 3:18 pm:

    Only the mind of Burris could justify this move. There he is a legend!

  17. - Downstate - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 3:22 pm:

    The special election may become very important if Kirk wins it. Many believe that the Democrats will try to pass additional controversial legislation during the lame duck session, particularly if they know they’re going to be losing control. Another Republican vote makes it one harder to get to 60 on a cloture vote.

  18. - sal-says - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 3:22 pm:

    Just saw goofy Alan Keyes in the news again; this Burris gambit sort of reminds me of Keyes.

  19. - Wumpus - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 3:33 pm:

    I bet the Alexi people cannot be happy about this. I know there will be two seperate spots on the ballot, but somepeople will claim they were confused

  20. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 3:54 pm:


    You beat me to it. Alexi cannot be happy if Burris is on the ballot. This ballot is already complicated enough with having to vote twice for the same office, but more names on the second line confuses voters more.

    But, Burris is absolutely right to challenge the judge’s decision. No matter where you fall on the curve, you have to admit there is something not right about this whole mess. And I am sure the other senate candidates will join him in the suit. Just like Obama always blames Bush, I will always blame Obama for this mess. His election was obviously a mistake.

  21. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 3:54 pm:

    I never thought I would say this, but:

    “Good for Burris.”

    The feds do have the right to order the state of Illinois to hold a special election.

    The do NOT have the right to dictate how the candidates for that special election shall be chosen.

  22. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 3:59 pm:


    Perfectly said (bet you never thought you’d see me say that to you, huh).

  23. - Anon - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 4:01 pm:

    ==I believe the Judge indicated the only date the Governor could have designated for a special election was the general election this November. So, we are having an election when we should. ==

    The Legislature could have changed the law to set a different date if they truly wanted to abide by the Constitutional requirement.

  24. - John Bambenek - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 4:07 pm:

    I’m still unclear how having a special election for US Senator is a requirement in the Constitution… It’s an allowable option, sure.

  25. - Truth monger - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 4:08 pm:


    I think it will end in November and there will be an entire new group of people in charge. Not necessarily better but the Democrats have been an utter failure at governing.

    Burris is just the most clownish of the lot.

  26. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    Did Burris already pay to have “U.S. Senator 2009-2011″ on his tombstone?

  27. - Concerned Voter - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 4:17 pm:

    Roland, we now know you would like to continue to vote however Durbin tells you to for a while longer. Please, do us all a favor and just go away quietly.

  28. - the Patriot - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 4:19 pm:

    I was against a special election, not because I favored Burris or any appointment, but because Republicans had no shot at the seat at a time when Obamarama, was in full effect. I did not want a viable democrat in the seat which would have to be challenged in this election. Thank God Rod appointed Burris.

    The Senate Dems including Durbin and Reid who ultimately got behind Bursis are to blame for this nonsense. They should have never seated him. They should have said on day one, we will not seat anyone appointed by this Governor. Instead they yieled to an inflamatory act of a madman.

  29. - David Ormsby - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 4:46 pm:

    Go, Roland, just go.

  30. - Fed Up State Employee - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 5:59 pm:

    Let Roland run.

    Then we, the voters, can send him a message that he apparently doesn’t comprehend at this point.

  31. - Amalia - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 6:23 pm:

    I neither love Alexi or Kirk, and I certainly am no fan of Obama, but I’ll take anyone over Roland and Obama over Bush any
    day. it feels good to sweep away the venal people.

  32. - ANON - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 10:19 pm:

    John, you have it backwards. The 17th Amendment state that the executive of the State shall (must) call an election to fill a vacancy, and the legislature of that state may (doesnt have to, but can) allow an appointment until said election is held. The temporary appointment is optional, the election is not.

  33. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 10:41 pm:

    I’m not confused. Nor am I falling for any Democratic embellishments on this topic. From the time Burris was appointed through today, there was plenty of time to have a special election. But for some mysterious reason (snark) Democrats did not want to hold one.

    So the Democrats in the name of “good government” left Burris in office instead of calling for a special election. Ponder that for a while. And Quinn, as chief executive, was supposed to call for one, right? I guess it would have meant the “early release” of Burris from that position! (snark again!) Perhaps if someone used the words “early release” Quinn would have jumped and called for the early election instead of letting an obscure lawsuit quietly work its way through the Federal Court system if someone whispered “early release” in his ear? Just askin’!

    The current mess of the special election can be properly and only laid at the feet of the Democrats who created it.

    Wait until voters see U.S. Senator appear TWICE on their ballots with most of the names appearing TWICE! Talk about chaos on the horizon. Who are the voters going to blame for that one? Republicans who wanted the special election held like, LAST YEAR? The party that denied them the right to vote and appointed ROLAND BURRIS? The Democratic Party of Illinois with the assistance of the National Democratic Party.

    Thanks Democrats! I truly mean it! (snark)

  34. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Aug 5, 10 @ 11:15 pm:


    With all due respect, and by your logic, shouldn’t Jim Thompson and Speaker Ryan have called a special election when Alan Dixon was appointed?

    And I haven’t yet traced the nomination history of the judge or judges who belatedly came to this ruling, so I think it’s premature to blame the Democrats for this debacle.

    As far as I can tell, Marty Oberman is the Democrat to blame for this, and he also should get the credit if the Supreme Court upholds this ruling. The way I remember it back after Rod got arrested, a special election was the radical idea: appointment was the status quo.

    We’re all mad about the court ruling, but please don’t lay this mess entirely on the Democrats. Feel free to remember some history here.

  35. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Aug 6, 10 @ 8:55 am:


    I don’t blame Oberman, I admire him for doing the right thing. Check your appointment dates more carefully.

    Sorry, but the Democrats blocked all efforts at a special election. The result is our being “represented” by Roland Burris for nearly two years by the time the special election as court ordered is finally held.

    The court delays in deciding this matter are abominable.

    The Democrats own this one all by their themselves. Again, when the voters see their ballots and the two simultaneous elections, it will be the result of Democrats doing them a major injustice.

    That’s why I conclude all my comments on this topic by saying: “Thank’s Democrats!”

  36. - ivote - Friday, Aug 6, 10 @ 9:46 am:

    The issue at hand is Roland Burris and his demand to be on the ballot (not whose “fault” this is). This is sad sad sad. . .makes Burris look even more like an egomaniac, but more importantly can do real damage to Illinois. Whichever of the major candidates wins the full term in November would (without Burris in the race) undoubtedly win the short term. He would thus obtain more seniority than the other newly-elected Senators who start in January. In the U. S. Senate, seniority is a BIG deal. Roland, do all of us a favor–stop this ego-driven silliness, have a little dignity, and move on!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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