According to the Associated Press, the Massachusetts senate has approved legislation permitting Gov. Deval Patrick to name a successor to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. The bill should be signed by the end of the week.
This decision, while certainly no surprise, is about as hypocritical as it gets. Yes, it was Kennedy himself who, just a week before his death, petitioned the state legislature to change the law guiding the selection process — but it was also Kennedy himself who lobbied for the very law now being disregarded back in 2004, when Sen. John Kerry looked like the inevitable 44th president of the United States and then Gov. Mitt Romney stood ready to appoint Kerry’s successor.
From the look of the AP report, there will still be a special election in January as the current law proscribes, but in the meantime an interim replacement will be picked by Patrick so the U.S. Senate maintains the 60 Democratic Party votes necessary to wield largely unchecked power.