The Illinois Supreme Court says Secretary of State Jesse White doesn't need to sign Roland Burris' appointment to the U.S. Senate to make it valid.
The ruling says no Illinois official has to do anything further to validate the appointment made by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Burris was refused President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat this week in part because Senate Democratic leaders said his paperwork was incomplete without White's signature.
The state Supreme Court says nothing in state law requires White to sign the appointment.
White has said he wouldn't certify any Blagojevich appointment in the wake of the governor's federal corruption arrest unless the court forced him to.
[Editor's Note: Here is an excerpt of the court's ruling:]
Docket No. 107816.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
ROLAND W. BURRIS et al., Petitioners, v. JESSE WHITE,
Secretary of State, Respondent.
Opinion filed January 9, 2009.
JUSTICE KARMEIER delivered the judgment of the court, with
Chief Justice Fitzgerald and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Kilbride,
Garman and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.
The issue presented by this original action for mandamus is
whether Jesse White, the Secretary of State of the State of Illinois, is
required by section 5(1) of the Secretary of State Act (15 ILCS
305/5(1) (West 2006)) to countersign and affix the seal of the state to
the document issued by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich on December
31, 2008, certifying the Governor’s appointment of Roland Burris to
the United States Senate. For the reasons that follow, we hold that
section 5(1) of the Secretary of State Act (15 ILCS 305/5(1) (West
2006)) is inapplicable to the Burris appointment, and that no further
action is required by any officer of this state to make that appointment
valid. We further hold that the only ministerial act required of the
Secretary of State in this case is that he register the appointment in
accordance with section 5(2) of the Secretary of State Act (15 ILCS
305/5(2) (West 2006)). The Secretary of State having performed that
responsibility on December 31, 2008, the writ of mandamus is denied.
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