Katie Couric's Notebook: 111th Senate

In a scene like no other on Capitol Hill, the man appointed to fill Barack Obama's old Senate seat showed up today, and was quickly shown the door.

Senate leaders don't want to seat Roland Burris because he was appointed by disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, even though Burris did nothing wrong.

For now, they're relying on a technicality - that the Illinois secretary of state never certified the appointment. But many legal experts think Burris would prevail in court.

Former comedian Al Franken wasn't sworn in either, because Republicans are challenging his 225-vote lead out of almost three million cast in Minnesota's Senate race.

The battle over that seat could take weeks. The fight in Illinois could drag on for months. With our economy in such bad shape, Congress has a full agenda, starting with Mr. Obama's stimulus package. This is one distraction neither he nor the Senate needs right now.