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While Blagojevich has signed formal appointment papers, Jesse White, the Illinois secretary of state, has not, and Senate rules require that signature. Burris, in turn, has gone to court hoping to win an order for White to sign the necessary paperwork, and he has also threatened to sue to take his seat in the Senate.
Burris, 71, declared, "I'm a United States senator" before leaving Chicago for Washington. However, he is not and cannot be a senator unless he is administered the oath of office.
In spite of his stance, Burris told reporters that he would not make a scene at the Capitol. He was to meet privately on Wednesday with Reid.
Some of Burris' supporters have bemoaned the fact that Democrats would stand in the way of the Senate gaining its only black member. Burris himself downplayed the issue of race, telling reporters: "I cannot control my supporters. I have never in my life, in all my years of being elected to office, thought anything about race."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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