Illinois’ Supreme Court just ruled that Roland Burris doesn’t need Secretary of State Jesse White’s signature in order to be seated as a United States Senator:
Petitioners are not entitled to an order from this court requiring the Secretary to perform those Acts. Under the Secretary of State Act, the Secretary’s sole responsibility was to register the appointment (15 ILCS 305/5(2) (West 2006)), which he did. No further action is required by the Secretary of State or any other official to make the Governor’s appointment of Roland Burris to the United States Senate valid under Illinois law.
This puts the ball back in Harry Reid’s court. At this point, the best course of action would be to just seat Burris; Senate Democrats hitched themselves to Jesse White’s gambit and –in the wake of this ruling–they no longer have a legal leg to stand on in order to block Burris.
Punting Burris to the Rules Committee or having the full Senate vote on whether or not to seat him would be pointless, since no other valid appointee is subjected to either of those procedures. Unless Reid is planning on doing the same for whoever replaces Salazar, Clinton & Biden, not immediately seating Burris would look pointlessly hypocritical.