White Certifies Burris Appointment

Posted January 9, 2009 at 5:28pm

Updated: 7:35 p.m. Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris (D) was one step closer Friday evening to succeeding President-elect Barack Obama as his state’s junior Senator, following Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s (D) move to certify the appointment by embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D). White’s signature approving the appointment came hours after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that White’ signature of certification was not necessary for the governor’s appointee to be considered legally able to take office as Senator. “I, Jesse White, Secretary of State of the State of Illinois, do hereby certify that the attached is a true and accurate document setting forth an appointment made by the Governor of the State of Illinois,” White wrote Friday on a document titled “Certificate.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) have maintained that Burris cannot be installed as a Senator until he obtains the secretary of state’s signature on his appointment papers. Today’s move by White would appear to clear the path for Burris to assume office, although Reid’s office was not yet prepared to comment. “The Senate Parliamentarian, the Secretary of the Senate and Senate Legal Counsel are advising Senate Leadership as we consider a way forward,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley wrote in an e-mail. A spokeswoman for the Secretary of the Senate declined to comment because the office has yet to receive additional paperwork from Burris.