Senate Democrats Appear to Flip-Flop on Seating Pro-Abrotion Roland Burris

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 7, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Democrats Appear to Flip-Flop on Seating Pro-Abortion Roland Burris

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 7
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The latest news in the saga over pro-abortion Senate appointee Roland Burris is that the choice of the embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to replace Barack Obama in the Senate may be seated after all. Burris met with pro-abortion Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday.

Reid and leading Senate Democrats appears to flip-flop from their position just one day earlier when they made it clear they would do everything possible to deny Burris the seat.

They appear to set forth the conditions Burris must meet before he can serve.

The outcome of the meeting left Burris all smiles in a news conference that followed, where he said he is "happy" and said the pieces are falling into place for him to become a senator.

Burris still has to get Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to sign his appointment certificate and Burris has sued the official to get the Illinois Supreme Court to direct White to sign it.

Reid said he is waiting on the conclusion of that high court decision before moving further and that a positive decision for Burris could result in him becoming a senator.

He also must testify before the Illinois House impeachment panel on Thursday to answer questions from state legislators who want to know if Blagojevich required any quid pro quo for him to receive the Senate appointment.

Burris said Reid may direct the matter of his appointment to the Senate Rules Committee to determine if he is the legitimate senator and that could be followed by a full vote of the entire Senate — something that didn’t look quite as possible on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Judicial Watch, a generally conservative legal group, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington on Burris’ behalf saying Senate Democrats engaged in unconstitutional behavior by refusing to seat him.

Also on Wednesday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed papers with the state Supreme Court saying that White has not violated state law by refusing to sign off on the appointment and that Burris is not entitled to the seat with his signature.

"The secretary has performed all of his legal duties regarding the Burris appointment. This court cannot compel the U.S. Senate to seat petitioner Burris. But nothing remains to be done by the secretary to complete the appointment process and to enable the U.S. senate to seat Burris," Madigan said.

Federal prosecutors arrested Blagojevich last month and accused him of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.

The scandal has shaken the nation just as Obama prepares to become president and it has embroiled both him and high level Obama staffers, specifically Rahm Emanuel, who may have talked with Blagojevich about the appointment.

Until Burris is seated, abortion advocates have one less vote in the Senate, which could play a role on votes related to abortion funding or the controversial Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) that would make abortions unlimited and overturn hundreds of pro-life laws.

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