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Federal Court orders special election for Burris Senate seat

July 1, 2010

Interesting development in the “golden” U.S. Senate seat that Federal prosecutors accuse former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of trying to sell to the highest bidder.

U.S. District Judge Diane Wood ruled that Illinois voters should vote to fill the seat now held by Roland Burris, the Blagojevich appointee who will serve until Jan. 3.    Politico reports that Sen. Burris could be serving on borrowed time.

In an under-the-radar June 16 ruling, a federal appeals court ruled that the 17th Amendment requires that the state hold a special election to elect a senator to represent the state until the end of the 111th Congress.

It’s still in litigation — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a motion to reconsider with the appellate court, and District Judge John Grady will hold a July 21 hearing to consider any new rulings and figure out how to proceed.

But absent any changes, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals told Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn to call for an election that, by law, must be held Nov. 2.

Stay tuned.

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