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Durbin Wants To "Be Fair" With Burris

"If you don't pay close attention, the plot changes," Illinois senator Dick Durbin said of the drama surrounding the appointment of Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat on CBS News' Face The Nation this morning.

Admitting that Democrats in the Senate had initially opposed seating Burris, owing to what was perceived as a possible taint from his selection by indicted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Durbin said, "As time has gone on and we've looked closely, we want to be fair to Roland Burris."

Pushed by Bob Schieffer, the Democrat said they are not playing for time in the confirmation, and that Burris should know if he is the next Senator from Illinois before Blagojevich is removed from office.

"To wait for" a decision in Governor Blagojevich's impeachment trial "could be a matter of weeks. I think Roland Burris' future will be decided before then," Durbin said.

So, what is the hold up? While Burris testified before the Illinois House of Representatives and produced documentation signed by the Illinois Secretary of State (two conditions set by Senate leaders), Durbin said the papers submitted to Senate lawyers Friday are "different" than those used to confirm any other sitting U.S. senator.

Thus, he said, review of these papers must be thorough.

"I started off skeptical," Durbin said, though he admitted should the papers meet Senate standards there should be little hold up. Durbin would not come down hard on when he expects a decision to be made and mentioned that the "Senate schedule is not easy to invade."

Click here to see the papers submitted by Burris

Click here to see the paper submitted for a prior appointment on Sept. 17, 1969.

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