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. unshrub

    What underhanded politics the republicans will play
    when they don't get their way

    September 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. Jim in San Mateo

    These MA republicans are desperate and pathetic. Not a very attractive combination.

    September 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. MEB

    I think for a majority of you, you have it wrong. As you can see, the Dems want to protect their 60 vote margin. Just typical politics by the state, the judge, and the Democrats. Without it they have nothing.

    September 25, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. jane

    good for the judge!

    September 25, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Steve (the real one)

    I KNEW IT!!!! The kool aid has been spiked and the libs are so drunk on it they can't even see the hypocrisy in this. I understand the kool aid flavor of the day is orange!

    September 25, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Fred the Moderate

    Put the shoe on the other foot. You will note a change in tone!

    September 25, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Helen, NY

    Democrats will change the rules to suit them. They rushed with the bill for this appointment and now the judge is also biased. There is no rule of law in MA.

    September 25, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Henry

    What I don't understand is why Senator Kennedy didn't give up his seat six months ago when it was clear that he was dieing, and could not fulfill his duties as a senator. We would not have had the problem of a super-majority in the senate for health care reform if he had done the decent thing at that time.

    September 25, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. New Age Democrat

    It seems that the word 'emergency' no longer means what it once did. Now it can mean, we need one more vote for partisan politics. This move by Democrats is flat out wrong, just as it would be for any political party.

    @Jim in San Mateo
    "These MA republicans are desperate and pathetic. Not a very attractive combination."

    Desperate and pathetic is changing the law when a Republican is Governor, then changing it when a Democrat is in office.

    September 25, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Garland

    Republicans are sorry losers and they prove it everday!

    September 25, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. va

    all you people who call the gop the party of "no"... so were the dems a few years ago. democrats are a bunch of hypocrits. so are the republicans. i wish everyone would wake up and see how these two parties screw america over again and again and don't care about anyone except themselves. we've got a house of lords in this country and continue to elect the same people who've caused our problems. vote 3rd party. all of you need to get off of your high self-righteous horses.

    September 25, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Peter

    Thanks ken!!
    "Well, I drink a beer after work most nights since the 2008 elections in celebration of Obama's win, and in celebration of the beat-down that was given to the forces of rightwing ignorance. I celebrate every day, thankful that the witless reactionary drama queens we see on the news every nite are no longer in power. Tonite I will have two beers, and like the MA judge, I will dismiss out of hand any concern for the rightwing underbelly of this nation having its collective panties in a bunch. May your political wounds fester in the unhealthy environment of your purposeful [R] ignorance".
    You nailed it!!!

    September 25, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. kamenwati

    Somebody call the Waaaambulance for these crybaby repubs.

    September 25, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Mark, Worcester MA

    Let me clear some things up, for all of you who are leveling judgment against the Republicans in this particular case. Not only was this motion of this bill and subsequent declaration of 'emergency' status illegal, it fundamentally undermines the concept of having any laws at all.

    In 2004, when Senator Kerry was running for president, the Massachusetts legislature changed the laws of succession to prevent Governor Romney from appointing a conservative in the Senator's place, should he win.

    At this time, the Governor requested that the legislature allow for an interim appointment, so that the state would not be underrepresented while we pulled together out election process. The legislature denied this unilaterally.

    Now Senator Kennedy has passed on – a truly sad turn of events for this state. Only after he passed did the legislature revisit this issue, the same thing the so rashly turned down a mere five years ago.

    This last turn of events poses two major problems for the state constitution and political philosophy. First, everything that happens preceding the enactment of new legislature is grandfathered in under the previous legislature. Senator Kennedy passed before this bill, and so his seat is in no way subject to this bill.

    If a person were to commits crimes so heinous that a state's people demand the approval of execution as an acceptable future punishment. The new law does not, and cannot apply to the criminal who brought it about – only those who commit similar crimes after the bill's passage.

    Second, the Democratic Party of Massachusetts has taken the law – a principle that is supposed to be universal, unyielding, and deserving of the utmost respect – and turned it into nothing more than political leverage. You can't see it here, but I spit those words. Whether the population of the state wishes for Governor Patrick to appoint an interim Senator or not (and the margin of favor is not very large on this matter), the law does not allow for it.

    For the purpose of the law to be anything other than paychecks for politicians, it must apply universally. It cannot be applied simply when the Democrats feel it is in their best interest or to make federal power plays with the lives of a state's constituents. That kind of selective legislation is the principal tool of fledgling and lasting dictatorships.

    Mr. Kirk is not a Senator for this state, by the laws passed within this state. Mr. Patrick, Mr. Obama, and all those who have supported this appointment, all those who have welcomed him to the floor and sworn him in, all are suffering a mass delusion. I hope anyway, if they're not, if they actually know what they're doing... then this democracy is in much poorer shape than I imagined.

    All those who choose to blame the Republicans for trying to honor the nature and body of the law (an admittedly rare occasion for any political party) should enjoy their approaching dictatorships. I hope you don't believe you actually have a say anymore.

    September 25, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Ed

    Is it just me or did they just change the rules for their own betterment? A bunch of hypocrites, we get what we deserve by putting up with this kind of "politics".

    September 25, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Rick

    Im glad you are calling the GOP the party of NO.
    No to this boondoggle of a health care bill.
    No to illegal imigrants.
    No to the dismantling of the constituition.
    No to Crap and Trade.

    Maybe if a Dem said No once in a while we wouldnt be in the mess we are in now. Oh yeah one more thing I will say no to. NO I WONT VOTE FOR OBAMA AGAIN> Thats something I wish I could take back. Sleep well Teddy looks like they are carrying on your corrupt legacy.

    September 25, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Rick

    Heres an idea, Why dont You morons in Mass., California and New York just pull out and start your own Marxist govt. Its a shame the rest of us have to pay the price for your stupidity time and time again. It might be the time for the rest of us to seriously think about making some REAL CHANGE.

    September 25, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Wake Up

    You left-wingers, can you ever just think on your own? why would a complete law change make sense? Only because it benefits democrats? Can't we just keep laws, instead of changing them for political beneift. That goes for both parties. You basement blogging lefties are just nuts

    September 25, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Willy Brown

    Let me spell it out democrats you bunch of H-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e-s!

    September 25, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Kathleen

    Republicans – are they going to cut off their noses to spite their face?

    September 25, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. New Age Democrat

    @Beverly in NC

    Thanks Beverly for reminding me me why the Democrat party needs to change and get in touch with reality. Your comments have so many misstatements and falsehoods that it's impossible to address each one. You are the reason I try to voice both sides and hold my own party accountable. I'm afraid the party will fail with your continued support, please go away.

    September 25, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Mike TX

    Embarrassing that they change the laws when it suits them. It makes the entire state of MA look like a bunch of idiots. Maybe save for the three or four conservatives in the state, that's likely an accurate statement.

    September 25, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. WHAT????

    I never heard any of you guys pipe up when the laws in Texas were changed to support republican candidates.

    I thought so!

    September 25, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. New Age Democrat

    Mark, Worcester MA

    Thanks! Wonderful comments! Though I fear reason tends to fail here.

    September 25, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. Keeth

    What about this does the GOP not understand?

    The state constitution gives the gov the authority to claim and emergency (which Romney (R) used 14 times), and the legislature created a new law to give the gov the power to appoint someone until a special election Jan 19. All above the board, all legal. And still the GOP whines. GOP = Got 0 Plans for ANYTHING!

    September 25, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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