Senate bars access to Blagojevich appointee

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The man named by the scandal-plagued governor of Illinois to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the US Senate failed to gain entry yesterday when the chamber's secretary rejected as incomplete his credentials for the seat.

Roland Burris, a Democrat appointed to the seat by Rod Blagojevich, said afterwards: "I am not seeking to have any type of confrontation. I will now consult with my attorneys and we will determine what my next step will be."

Mr Blagojevich, a Democrat, was arrested last month on charges that he tried to sell the seat that Mr Obama vacated, charges the governor has denied. When Mr Blagojevich later named Mr Burris to fill the seat in the Democrat-controlled Senate, the move immediately hit obstacles. The secretary of state in Illinois has refused to certify the appointment, which is required under Senate rules.

Mr Burris has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to order that the certificate be signed.