Harry Reid and Dick Durbin have been adamant that they will not seat Roland Burris unless Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White signs a certificate in the form recommended in Senate Rule 2. Durbin was particularly emphatic that no appointee, ever, has been seated in the Senate without this form of certificate:

As Majority Leader Reid has told you, this has been a rule in the United States Senate since 1884. And since 1917, when we started the popular election of the Senators, we have never, ever waived this rule for any election or appointment.

Everyone has to present a certificate, signed by the governor, cosigned by the Secretary of state, never been waived in the history of the United States Senate.

Reid and Durbin are wrong. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (photo) was appointed by her father, Frank Murkowski, and the Certificate of Appointment for Murkowski does not bear the signature of a Secretary of State. Nor could there be, since Alaska (along with five other states) does not have a “Secretary of State.”

I can find no record of Reid or Durbin objecting to the lack of a Rule 2 certification in the case of Murkowski, yet they are willing to risk a constitutional crisis in the case of Burris. So why the double standard?


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