January 9, 2009 / 7:04 PM / 9 years ago

Illinois court opens way for Burris to take Obama's seat

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Illinois Supreme Court on Friday ruled Democrat Roland Burris' appointment to the U.S. Senate valid, moving Burris a step closer to taking President-elect Barack Obama's vacant seat.

The court said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White does not have to sign off on Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appointment proclamation.

The ruling puts the matter back in the U.S. Senate, where leaders have said they were open to seating Burris if the signature question was resolved.

White had pledged not to sign off on the appointment unless ordered because of the scandal surrounding Blagojevich, who has been charged with trying to sell the seat.

Reporting by Andrew Stern and Michael Conlon, editing by Patricia Zengerle

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