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National Briefing / Washington, D.c.

Kirk sworn in as senator from Massachusetts

September 26, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Former Democratic Party Chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr. has taken over for the late Edward M. Kennedy in the Senate.

Vice President Joe Biden swore Kirk in hours after a Massachusetts judge rejected a Republican request for a delay.

The GOP had argued that Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick exceeded his constitutional authority by appointing Kirk before a traditional 90-day legislative waiting period had expired. State lawmakers passed a bill this week giving Patrick the power to choose an interim senator.

Kirk gives Senate Democrats a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority with the healthcare fight at a crucial point.

He will serve in the interim post until voters pick a replacement in a special election Jan. 19.

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