September 25th, 2009
01:55 PM ET
5 years ago

MA judge denies GOP request to delay Kirk appointment

Kirk was  appointed to the post Thursday, after the Massachusetts legislature approved a measure allowing for Gov. Deval Patrick to name an interim replacement until a special election is held in January.'
Kirk was appointed to the post Thursday, after the Massachusetts legislature approved a measure allowing for Gov. Deval Patrick to name an interim replacement until a special election is held in January.'

(CNN) - A Massachusetts judge Friday rejected a request from state Republicans to delay the appointment of Paul Kirk as the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's interim replacement.

Kirk was formally appointed to the post Thursday, a day after the Massachusetts legislature approved a measure allowing for Gov. Deval Patrick to name an interim replacement until a special election is held in January.

But the legislation was not set take effect until 90 days, and Republicans argued Patrick exceeded his power by formally declaring an 'emergency' and appointing Kirk immediately. Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General Peter Sacks argued on behalf of the governor, saying previous rulings have made clear Patrick has broad authority to declare an emergency as he see fits.

Judge Thomas Connolly dismissed the case after hearing arguments from both sides Friday morning.

Kirk will be sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden Friday afternoon.


Filed under: Paul Kirk • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. kygater

    This is a sad day indeed when Ted Kennedy himself introduced the legislation to prevent this very thing from happening should John Kerry become president. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the policy is suddenly reversed. Non-partisanship under a new administration? Hardly. It leads one to wonder if this could be one of the causes of the sudden popularity of the new movement.

    September 25, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. HeadlessHessian

    Republicans should do what the dems did in Texas assembly quite some years ago. The Dems left and went to another state. In our case the republicants should leave for anohter state, but not return! :-)

    September 25, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Chai

    Massachussets is a laughing stock, they can't get out of their own way.

    September 25, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their follishness.

    Why because he is not a Kennedy?

    September 25, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Tom in Delaware

    2010 can't get here fast enough...so much for 'draining the swamp.

    September 25, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. John G

    What emergency?

    Having your party temporarily lose it's filibuster proof number in the senate is NOT an emergency. This is just one more example of Democrats making rules and breaking them before the ink is dry.

    For the record, the reason Massachusetts did not have a rule allowing the governor to appoint a replacement is because of a bill passed by Massachusetts Democrats 5 years ago.

    You see, Mitt Romney was governor at the time and John Kerry, the junior Senator, had a decent shot at vacating his seat for a bigger chair. Terrified that the Governor might appoint a Republican to replace Kerry, Massachusetts Democrats passed a law requiring a special election. Now that there is a Democrat in office, Massachusetts Democrats don't need to limit his power anymore and therefore are changing the rule again.

    And the funny part is...

    Even after changing the rule to suit their own purposes, they still break it by waiting 89 days less than is required to act on the new rule.

    Just out of curiosity, how stupid do Democrats think we are?

    September 25, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Bubble of Sanity

    "MA judge denies GOP request to delay Kirk appointment"

    Of course he would. This is news? Partisan politics at its filthiest.

    September 25, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their follishness.

    Yes. Because he is only another Kennedy.

    September 25, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Lori

    Gee! these Republicans are really desperate!!

    September 25, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. rob from new jersey

    It never ceases to amaze me that the republicians have no spine, when it comes to elections. We've had Gore vs Bush the outcome the was biggest Heist the GOP has pulled off. Then we get Al franken Vs Norm Coleman another GOP debackle. Sarah Palin goes on record saying that Ted Stevens should get a special election because he lost? Let me give some free advice to the GOP. We win elections in this country when you get more votes than your rival.... This country will no longer be as great as it's been. If we let our elections become similar to what happens in Iran! This country is great due to our free speech, freedom of press etc. But there are some repubilicans that want to muzzle the mouths and rights of those they oppose

    September 25, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. James From Chicago

    The Republicians just never know when to stop. Their whole party should be thrown out of congress, Sure would make a better world.

    September 25, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Ron

    That makes me feel real good to know that this guy is going decide the future for me and my kids. What a joke Massachusetts is, they don't even get to elect who they want to represent them. I guess democracy is dead in that state.

    September 25, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Truth Teller

    WTG judge Connelly. To hell with the party of "no".

    September 25, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. mike brown

    Wow! Hypocrisy in action!. I love the photo you chose to use which shows Kerry in the background. Kennedy used his warped political influence to have the Mass. Legislature change the law so that a Republican Governor could not replace Kerry's potential empty seat and then that same legislature gives the exact same power back to the Democratic governor. Why does Massachusetts even have a legislature? Just let the Senator make all the laws. Even from the grave!

    September 25, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. jerry

    Republicants do NOT want health care reform. They just want delay, delay,delay. Losers....

    September 25, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. warren smith

    now lets get busy

    September 25, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. rob from new jersey

    It never ceases to amaze me that the republicians have no spine, when it comes to elections. We've had Gore vs Bush the outcome the was biggest Heist the GOP has pulled off. Then we get Al franken Vs Norm Coleman another GOP debackle. Sarah Palin goes on record saying that Ted Stevens should get a special election because he lost? Let me give some free advice to the GOP. We win elections in this country when you get more votes than your rival.... This country will no longer be as great as it's been. If we let our elections become similar to what happens in Iran! This country is great due to our free speech, freedom of press etc. But there are some repubilicans that want to muzzle the mouths and rights of those they oppose.

    September 25, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. pam Eugene OR

    No surprise the Republicans tried to stop this just like they did with Al Frankin and President Obama's replacement for IL
    They are such poor losers. They will lie, cheat and terrorize people to try to hang on to power. I am happy to see the Democrats back to the magic 60. Now it might be possible to get something done.

    September 25, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Nick

    What a shock, more Democrats working the system the way they want it instead of what's in the best interest of Americans. You don't like the rules, you change them, then you don't like your new rules and find a loophole around them. Classy act, that progressive party. Makes the Mafia look like school children when it comes to ethics and corruption.

    This is the same party that can't throw Rangel out after 10 months of investigations.

    September 25, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. Beverly in NC

    Typical Republican obstructionism. They kept Minnesota from having 2 Senators for 9 months because their candidate would not concede his obvious defeat. Now they want MA to be without 2 senators as well.

    They are SO NEGATIVE and DESTRUCTIVE to our nation. They do nothing to help America, just block all progessive legislation, and try to tear the country apart with their lies and fear tactics.

    And they claim to have "values". Trying to cause our President and our country to fail for political games is no American value. They are unpatriotic and dishonorable. Since they contribute nothing to America's success and recovery, it's time to get rid of more these constantly negative do-nothings in 2010. Republicans do not work for the People who elected them but for the insurance industry and all greed corporations who abuse Americans.

    MA deserves proper representation replacing a Democrat with a Democrat.

    The rest of the nation deserves intelligent and hard-working members of Congress who will work for US. That is very clearly not any Republican.

    Just watch healthcare. They will still claim they are for reform but they will whine ans criticize all the way and then all vote NO. Why is it they all use government-run single payor healthcare but refuse to let Americans have access to the same excellent coverage they readily use???? They are hypocrites who cannot be trusted.

    More than 70% of Americans want real reform that INCLUDES the PUBLIC OPTION – just like what these Senators have – but they think they are more entitled than us and deserve what they will not let Americans also benefit from. All that vote against reform with the public option should have their goverment healthcare jerked away from them and let them live in the private insurance world hell like the rest of us!

    September 25, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Say it isn't so

    The Party of No trying to delay again? Shocking I tell you–healthcare obstructionists would never do that (end sarcasm).

    September 25, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. tomdavie

    I take it the judge gave a reason why he denied the GOP request right? Probably because the Guv has authoritiy to call an 'emergency' when he sees fit.

    Can anyone honestly look at this with a straight face and not see obvoius corruption? Isnt this the same state where they changed the law so Romney couldnt appoint someone if Kerry won the election, now change it back again when its a Democrat govenor????

    September 25, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Karen - Missouri

    Someone throw those nasty Republicans out of office! They've proven they do NOTHING for the people...only their party. I'm tired of Republicans wasting our tax dollars!

    Good for Mass. and Kirk! Hurray!

    September 25, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. j

    A roadblock from the Repubs !!!!!! --- Just another NO from the party of NO.. It surprises NObody

    September 25, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. GP

    Idiot_Pelosi – The shoe was on the other foot for the previous eight years. How does it feel?

    The governor should have waited the 90 days, but the judicial branch in MA ruled in the executives favor. Activist judge?

    Did the dems try to slow things down or obstruct the repub agenda in the 1990's. Sure. Did the republicans pay that back seven fold in the past two years? Oh yeah, and then some.

    Republican party holds a grudge like I've never seen before. Never underestimate the rage, anger, resentment and ill will that possesses the RNC and it's members.

    September 25, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
1 2 3 4 5