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Burris Going to Supreme Court

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Burris Going to Supreme Court

Roland Burris (WBEZ/Susie An)

Illinois U.S. Senator Roland Burris is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the special election that would remove him from office a few weeks early.

The Seventh Circuit court of appeals recently ruled that Roland Burris’ appointment to the U.S. Senate is only temporary, that the constitution requires Senate vacancies to be filled by elections. That led to a rush for a special election to fill out the rest of Barack Obama’s Senate term. With no time for a traditional primary schedule, a federal judge decided that candidates like Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias who were already running for a full Senate term would also be on the ballot in the special election. Timothy Wright is the attorney representing Burris. He says judges shouldn’t get to decide who is and isn’t on the ballot.

WRIGHT: We thought that Burris as well as any other person should have access to the ballot.

That’s a fundamental constitutional right. Wright says it’s ironic that a ruling intended to increase access to the ballot is actually limiting it.

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