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Should Burris' Senate Appointment Be Honored?

Roland Burris

Illinois U.S. Senate appointee Roland Burris leaves the U.S. Capitol, seen right, in Washington after he was turned away when he appeared to take his seat. Charles Dharapak, AP Photo hide caption

toggle caption Charles Dharapak, AP Photo

Amid a chaotic scene on Capitol Hill today, the Secretary of the Senate denied former Illinois attorney general Roland Burris from taking the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Burris, 71, said he was told "my credentials are not in order and will not be accepted." Speaking to reporters, Burris added he was "not seeking to have any type of confrontation."

Here's more from the Associated Press:

It was a spectacular demonstration of political gridlock at a time when the Democratic-controlled Congress has been eagerly awaiting Obama's inauguration while nervously anticipating tense work on a much-discussed stimulus program to steady the faltering economy.

An attorney for Burris, Timothy W. Wright III, said that "our credentials were rejected by the secretary of the Senate. We were not allowed to be placed in the record books. We were not allowed to proceed to the floor for purposes of taking oath. All of which we think was improperly done and is against the law of this land. We will consider our options and we will certainly let you know what our decisions will be soon thereafter."

Asked what his options were, Wright said there possibly could be a court challenge and he said that Burris also would continue to talk to the Senate leadership.

Should the Senate honor Burris' appointment by embroiled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich? What do you think of Burris' Senate pursuit?

On today's show, Farai Chideya gets an update from NPR's Cheryl Corley and professor Sherrilyn Ifill.



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