The Illinois Supreme Court says Secretary of State Jesse White doesn't need to sign Roland Burris' appointment to the U.S. Senate to make it valid.
The ruling says no Illinois official has to do anything further to validate the appointment made by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Burris was refused President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat this week in part because Senate Democratic leaders said his paperwork was incomplete without White's signature.
The state Supreme Court says nothing in state law requires White to sign the appointment.
The Illinois House voted overwhelmingly Friday to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, an unprecedented action that sets up a Senate trial on whether he should be thrown out for allegedly trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.
Impeachment required just 60 votes. The final result was 114-1.
Legislators accused the second-term Democratic governor of letting down the people of Illinois by letting ego and ambition drive his decisions.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich faces almost certain impeachment by the Illinois House, a historic step that would trigger a trial to determine whether the Democratic governor should be tossed out of office.
A simple majority vote will be enough to impeach. With Blagojevich defenders almost impossible to find, the outcome appears set.
After months of will-he or won't-he speculation, MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews has opted not to run for the U.S. Senate in his native Pennsylvania.
Matthews told his producers during a meeting just before Wednesday's "Hardball" that he isn't seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat occupied by moderate Republican Arlen Specter, who is up for re-election in 2010.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother of U.S. President George W. Bush, on Tuesday ruled out running for a Senate seat he had been considering contesting.
Bush, who was a popular Republican governor, said in a statement he would not run in 2010 for the Florida Senate seat that is being vacated by Republican Sen. Mel Martinez.
"While the opportunity to serve my state and country during these turbulent and dynamic times is compelling, now is not the right time to return to elected office," he said.
Despite early reservations, New York state's most powerful legislative leader now says he'll support Caroline Kennedy for the U.S. Senate if the governor names her to the seat expected to be vacated by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told the New York Post he's rethinking his views on Kennedy because he feels Gov. David Paterson will soon pick her to replace Clinton, President-elect Barack Obama's choice as secretary of state.
The end drew closer on Tuesday in Minnesota's drawn-out U.S. Senate race, with Democrat Al Franken holding a slim 50-vote lead over incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, officials said.
Franken was leading Coleman 1,211,951 to 1,211,901 -- with at least 1,346 absentee ballots still to be counted by early next week.
"We're darn close," said Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat and member of the five-member board trying to determine the winner of the November 4 contest.
Defying U.S. Senate leaders and his own state's lawmakers, Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate. Blagojevich, accused of trying to sell Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder, praised the 71-year-old Burris' integrity and asked that the corruption allegations not "taint this good and honest man."
Barack Obama will inherit two wars and the worst economic conditions in three generations when he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20. Ironically, that challenge might be a blessing for the president-elect — unemployment is so high and consumer confidence so low that even modest improvements will let him claim progress.
Obama also brings extraordinary assets to the task.
With the wind of her family's legacy at her back, Caroline Kennedy says her quest for a Senate seat has been a long time in the making.
In her first sit-down interview since she emerged as a Senate hopeful, the 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy told The Associated Press that she has always pondered jumping into politics, but waited for the right moment.