John Bresnahan reports that Roland Burris is going to show up in Washington again next week and demand to be seated. And he’s got a pretty solid argument at this point.
When Reid and Durbin spoke on this issue last week they hung almost everything on the fact that Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White had not co-signed the certificate of appointment from the governor. They said that without that signature, their hands were tied. They’d wait to hear from the state court deciding whether the signature was needed. And they strongly implied, if they didn’t come right out and say, that if the signature issue were resolved they’d seat Burris as senator.
Well, now the state court has signed off, saying the signature doesn’t matter. And now the Secretary of State himself has sorta kinda provided a signature. And Sen. Durbin himself (who remember is not only the second-ranking senate Dem but also Illinois’s senior senator) now says that White’s signature may be enough to settle the matter and get Burris seated.
And then there’s one other issue to keep in mind. The senate Dems now have very little leg to stand on to deny Burris. Just yesterday Durbin was saying no way. And he’s already shifted. But the clock is also ticking on Burris. The Illinois House just impeached Blagojevich yesterday. So he could be out of office by early February, if not sooner. And as soon as that happens, the new governor could appoint someone else who the senate would probably readily seat, making Burris’s appointment a dead letter. So Burris needs to press the matter now or risk having Reid and Durbin roll over on the ball and run out the clock.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.