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Roland Burris Defends Appointment to Senate by Embattled Blagojevich

Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pick for Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, Roland Burris, plans to take office next week despite objections from Senate leaders. Burris discusses the controversy surrounding his appointment with Ray Suarez.

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    It was a surprise to many when embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich named former state Attorney General Roland Burris to fill President-elect Obama's vacant Senate seat, and it's still unclear whether Mr. Burris will be sworn in alongside the new class of senators next week.

    To address some of the questions swirling around this appointment, Roland Burris joins us now from Chicago.

    Welcome to the program, sir.

  • ROLAND BURRIS, Senator-designate, Illinois:

    Thank you very much, Ray. I appreciate the opportunity.


    At this moment as we speak, are you the junior senator from Illinois?


    That is correct, Ray. The governor's appointment is legal, and I am the junior senator for the state of Illinois.


    Will you present yourself Monday to take that seat on the Senate floor?


    Well, the process will be this. We will travel to Washington on Monday. We will appear at the Senate chambers on Tuesday when the Senate is in open session. I will more than likely be denied entry, and then I will leave.