September 18th, 2009
10:23 AM ET
14 years ago

MA Senate to take up measure on Kennedy replacement

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The Massachusetts Senate is scheduled to consider a measure Friday that would allow the governor to appoint an interim U.S. senator to serve in the four month stretch of time before a special election is held to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat."](CNN) - The Massachusetts Senate is scheduled to consider a measure Friday that would allow the governor to appoint an interim U.S. senator to serve in the four month stretch of time before a special election is held to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat.

The measure easily passed the Massachusetts House of Representatives by a 95-58 vote Thursday night. While the bill will be brought to the floor Friday afternoon in the state's Senate chamber, Republicans are expected use a procedural motion to delay a vote until next week, said Dave Falcone, a spokesman for the state Senate Majority leader.

State Democrats are strongly pushing the measure to ensure Massachusetts has two votes in the U.S. Senate during the battle over health care reform. With the now-vacant seat, Democrats only have 59 votes in the U.S. Senate - one short of preventing a likely Republican filibuster against a Democratic health care bill.

But Republicans in Massachusetts argue it was Democrats who changed the Senate succession rules in 2004 to prohibit an interim appointment. At the time Democrats wanted to prevent then-Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, from handpicking a replacement for Sen. John Kerry if the Democratic presidential nominee won the White House that year.

While state Democrats have a clear majority in the Senate (35-5), it remains "speculative" whether there are enough votes to pass the bill, Falcone said.

Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick has stated he supports the rule change and would sign the bill if it passes the Senate. Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis is reportedly on the top of the list to be named to the seat should the measure pass, according to the Boston Globe.

Filed under: Ted Kennedy
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Dawn

    the republicans will complain as usual but if they were in the same circumstance they would do the same. The voters voted 60 dems for a reason. The citizens have spoken and until the next election dems should have 60. but really they dont have 60 because there are some republicans masking as dems.

    September 18, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. Jimmy the Greek

    Democrats – if they don't want to abide by the rules THEY pass.... they simply change them to fit their own agenda.

    Party above People!!

    September 18, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Paul

    Sounds reasonable. There should be some way to have temporary representation when a senate seat becomes vacant prematurely. Surely though, this should have been done long ago (like health care reform).

    September 18, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Can't wait for 2010

    Please do this you gutless cowards for Ted "the swimmer" Kennedy, you have NO IDEA of the backlash you are going to receive, VICTIM NUMBER ONE will be Deval Patrick.

    You frauds have NO IDEA, one at a time, we may not get all of you this cycle, but we are coming after you Mass Democrats that voted against Romney doing this, but are all for Patrick doing it.

    If you don't live here shut up, you know nothing about it.

    The ROLL CALL VOTING list is being compiled and compared from 2004-2009 and see you in 2010.

    NO MORE BS in Mass.

    September 18, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. AstroTurf This

    Liberal hipocrisy at its best. Make a law...but only follow the law if it is politically convenient. Change it for your political advantage at will. Unbelievable.

    September 18, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Enough

    Aren't the Democrats something? Always changing the rules to their advantage, until that rule change might not benefit them, then they gotta change it back. Losers!

    September 18, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Ken

    For anyone watching, this clearly reveals the Democrats thirst for power, and their willingness to rewrite the laws of this once free nation to keep that power. So much for the rule of law mantra.

    September 18, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Robert

    You can bet they will change the law, because in MA – nothing, no law is sacred or respected – don't like the way things are??? Just change the law the way you want it to be today. Too bad, it would be nice to keep the Kennedy legacy for the law he wanted and got passed.

    September 18, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. Proud Member..Party of No

    Unbelievable hypocrisy from the democrat party but we should be used to this by now. C'mon democrats, wake up. Stop clinging to the old democrat party that doesn't exist anymore. Dump these corrupt politicians.

    September 18, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. single mom

    The Democrats as a national party are shooting themselves in the foot. The determination to pass the health care reform despite the majority of Americans being against it, the arrogance and total disconnect of party leaders, and now this – changing the rules to suit their party's needs - Americans will not be forgetting this in fourteen months!

    September 18, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. Offend Equally

    Can laws ever just be followed? These dems really think they can skirt any law!

    September 18, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Rick CT

    This is purely politics at it ultimate sleezyness. Since when does it say in any constitution that a Governor's power is dependent upon his/her's political affiliation. That's what Massuchusetts democrats are trying to do – plain and simple. You can't spin it any other way.

    September 18, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. panem et circenses, but CNN won't post

    One rule for your opponent and another rule for yourself...

    Hypocracy, they name is Democrat.

    September 18, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. Steve B (California)

    Moving the goal posts during the game to change the outcome favoring your team, huh.

    dirty, dirty, dirty

    September 18, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Counting the days until the Obamanation is GONE and America can prosper again

    Let's change the rules back to the DemoCRAPS favor. After all, they changed them because they didn't like the potential result. Now, they need to learn that they reap what they sow!

    September 18, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. J.P.

    Yes, because laws and rules don't apply to democrats, especially liberal Massachusetts Democrats... even when, and especially when, they actually write the very laws themselves. Surely, our founders roll in their graves.

    Antics like these are why we will be replacing ALL of you, Dem and Republican alike, in 2010.

    September 18, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. Greg

    "But Republicans in Massachusetts argue it was Democrats who changed..." Is it just an "argument" they are making or is it fact? False impressions....

    September 18, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Pat

    This is wrong. Period. No way to slice it. No party should manipulate the rules to their favor, but it happens all the time to blind eyes.

    I'm sorry, because I disagree with it, this must make me a Republican, and because I'm a Republican, I must be a conservative and I am probably caucasian, therefore I must be racist, because as everyone knows, we are all racially and politically profiled to be cut out of the same mold.

    September 18, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. RI Moderate

    Gotta admit the legislature in MASS are a bunch of hypocrits. Whwn Romney was governor they changed the law to have a run off election. We heard many speeches about 'democratizing the selection od=f senator' and 'let the people speak'. Now Romney is gone and a Dem is governor – the story we're hearing is oh so different now! "why should MASS go without representation even for a few days', blah, blah.. It's situational ethics and situational politics.

    September 18, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. joe

    Herewe go again. You made the rules now abide by them. Just another tactic from politicians to gettheir way. They changed it once and no they are at it again since it suits your needs. That is no way to run government. I do not care wether you are Democrat or Republican, this is not the way to run a government on a whim. Vote all of them out, state wide and nationally and lets start over again......

    September 18, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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