Roland Burris is now a major protagonist in the complicated political dance unfolding in the Illinois Capital and the U.S. Senate. While fighting off impeachment proceedings following his federal corruption arrest for trying to sell the Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Burris to fill the spot, stirring up more controversy.
The 71-year-old has built a mausoleum listing his achievements. The granite structure, with two columns supporting a covered area and three tablets, list his political and business accomplishments — "First African-American in Illinois" to become the attorney general, state comptroller, vice president of Continental Illinois National Bank, etc. — with the term "Trail Blazer" chiseled in large type above.
Burris is hoping to add "U.S. Senator" to the list (and there is room in the granite for it), but there are several roadblocks on the way to Capitol Hill.
CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews reports that Senate Democrats oppose seating Burris in their chamber (fearing the taint of Blagojevich).
On Wednesday, Burris asked the Illinois Supreme Court to force Secretary of State Jesse White to certify Blagojevich's appointment of him to Obama's Senate seat. He also told CBS News that he expects to be sworn in next week.
Both sides are willing to put their cases before the Supreme Court.