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Kyl Questions Senate Authority To Block Burris

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl said Monday the Senate may have to seat Roland Burris if he gets his certification papers signed by the Illinois secretary of state.

"If a candidate presents himself with the appropriate credentials, what then would be the basis of the Senate to deny his being seated?" said Kyl, who also sits on the Judiciary Committee. "I don't know."

His comments stand in stark contrast from the Senate Democratic leadership, which says that since Burris was appointed by a governor under suspicion for selling Barack Obama's Illinois Senate seat, the chamber has a constitutional duty to review and potentially reject the appointment.

Burris is expected to arrive on Capitol Hill Tuesday, sparking a showdown with Senate Democrats who are refusing to seat him. He so far doesn't have credentials signed by the Illinois secretary of state, but should that occur, Democrats could be in a legal jam on how to deal with the 71-year-old former Illinois attorney general.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that Illinois should establish a special election to fill the open seat, but he did not say whether he supported Democratic calls to block Burris from being sworn into office.

 

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