Democrats Refuse to Seat Roland Burris, Pro-Abortion Pick to Replace Obama
by Steven Ertelt
January 6, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Senate Democrats on Tuesday refused to allow abortion advocate Roland Burris, a pro-abortion former Illinois official, to take incoming president Barack Obama’s Senate seat. Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is battling ethics charges, appointed Burris to replace Obama.
However, Senate Democrats made good on their pledge to not seat Burris despite his appointment. — saying that the corruption charges Blagojevich is facing for trying to sell Obama’s seat taint the appointment.
Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson refused to swear in Burris on Tuesday when he showed up in her office.
Because Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has refused to make the appointment official, Senate leaders said Burris did not have the right credentials to serve in the Senate.
"My credentials were not in order, I will not be accepted, I will not be seated," Burris told reporters after he went to the Senate to try to become an official member.
Burris, a former Illinois attorney general, added that he is "not seeking to have any type of confrontation" over his appointment, although he could file a lawsuit against the Senate. He has already sued White.
Timothy W. Wright III, an attorney for Burris, talked about the situation with reporters.
"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," he said.
Wright mentioned the possibility of a federal lawsuit to challenge the actions against Burris.
If he takes the Senate seat, Burris would be a sure vote for abortion advocates.
During his tenure as the state’s top attorney, he came under criticism from pro-life advocates for determining that the state’s anti-stalking law is gender-neutral and declaring that it could be used to prosecute pro-life advocates who offer information to women outside an abortion center.
Burris was also accused of twisting the law to prosecute pro-life sidewalk counselors to curry favor with abortion advocates prior to a bid for governor.
Burris also watered down an anti-infanticide law that was contentious in the presidential campaign.
During the presidential debate, Obama came under fire for repeatedly voting against an Illinois version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act while he was a state legislator.
Lawmakers put forward the bill because existing law had lost its effectiveness in making sure newborns who survive failed abortions or are purposefully born prematurely receive adequate medical care.
Chicago-area nurse Jill Stanek had exposed the practice at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn where babies were left in soiled utility rooms to die instead of receiving treatment.
Burris rendered the state’s born alive law unenforceable by signing a consent decree.
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