Roland Burris Denied at Capitol Hill

By Jonathan Adams Jan 06, 2009

Roland Burris, former Attorney General and newly appointed Senator of Illinois, was refused access to Congress today.

The former Illinois attorney general said he was "not seeking to have any type of confrontation" over taking the seat that he was appointed to by embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But Burris also said he was looking at options for taking the seat. 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."

Burris’s rejection comes amid drama among Democrats who are not sure that Burris is the right man to replace President-elect Barack Obama. And from all reports, Rod Blagojevich seems to be in the middle of it all. After appointing Burris, the scandal-ridden governor has been able to sit back in the cut while Harry Reid wards off accusations that he is racist.