Illinois Should Elect Interim Senator, Court Rules

Electorated senator will serve eight weeks

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    Illinois residents should vote on two senators this November, one of them an interim senator who will serve just weeks in office, a federal appeals court ruled today.

    The court rejected an appeal from state officials that protested the idea, ruling instead in favor of the Constitution, which states that no senator can serve more than two years without being elected.

    The current senator, Roland Burris, was not elected. Ex-governor Rod Blagojevich appointed him in December 2008. According to the Constitution, a different senator must finish the last eight weeks of Burris’ term.

    Meanwhile, Burris has said he might run to replace himself.

    "All of these issues are under discussion in the District Court," said a spokesperson for Attorney general Lisa Madigan. "We are working with the other parties as part of the process in the District Court, which will decide the appropriate next steps."

    The election for an interim senator would take place at the same time Illinois residents voted on their next senator -- November 2, 2010.