Senate Democrats Allow Pro-Abortion Roland Burris to Replace Barack Obama
by Steven Ertelt
January 12, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Senate Democrats on Monday finally reversed position and will allow pro-abortion former Illinois state official Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat. The move came after a scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Burris to complete the rest of Obama’s term.
Senate leaders initially balked at seating Burris because of the scandal, which has the pro-abortion Democratic governor accused of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.
The scandal also had top Obama official David Axlerod backtracking on whether Obama or his staff talked with Blagojevich about the appointment.
Obama pick for White House chief of staff, pro-abortion Rep. Rahm Emanuel, has also been accused of talking about the selection with Blagojevich.
Senate Democrats backs off their initial pledge to not seat Burris after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in his favor, saying that Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White did not have to sign off on his appointment.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, both Democrats, released a statement Monday afternoon confirming their decision.
"The secretary of the Senate has determined that the new credentials presented today on behalf of Mr. Burris now satisfy Senate Rules and validate his appointment to the vacant Illinois Senate seat," they said.
"In addition, as we requested, Mr. Burris has provided sworn testimony before the Illinois House Committee on Impeachment regarding the circumstances of his appointment.," they added.
The testimony and the signature were two conditions they placed on Burris taking the seat when they began backing down last week from their ironclad position against his appointment.
Blagojevich was impeached Friday by the Illinois House of Representatives, but as a sitting governor he still has the legal authority to make appointments. The state Senate has not yet voted on impeachment.
With Burris taking his seat, abortion advocates will have one more vote in the Senate to rubber stamp Obama’s pro-abortion agenda.
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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