Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, says president-elect Obama's Senate seat will stay vacant until Democrat Governor Blagojevich is removed and a new appointment can be certified:
"At this point we've clearly reached an impasse," Durbin told reporters at his Chicago office.
That's Democrat speak for the courts don't see things our way.
Durbin also said the "Senate cannot waive a 125-year-old rule requiring the signatures of
both the governor and the secretary of state on any election or
Unbelievably, Durbin, made his comments after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled against the Senate Democrats. In its decision, the court found that Senate Rule II, the rule that Reid and Durbin cited as justification for the Democrat's refusal to seat Senator Burris, is merely a recommendation, not a requirement the "Senate cannot waive":
As their name indicates, these forms are merely recommended. State officials are not required to adopt them, but “they may use [them] if they see fit.” Standing Rule II, United States Senate, Committee on Rule & Administration.
In any event, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White signed a separate statement on Friday certifying that Burris' appointment letter was legally filed with the state. The Illinois Supreme Court decision and Secretary of State certification aren't good enough for Reid and company:
But aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it was not clear
if White's statement would meet the Senate's 125-year-old certification
That's Democrat speak for we don't see things the court's way.
The bottom line here is that the Democrats were afraid to call a special election and let the voters decide who should replace Obama because a Republican might have won the seat. Now, the Democrats are afraid to accept Senator Burris because a Republican might be able to beat Burris in 2010.