Posted by: Debby Durkee | January 18, 2010

MA Senator Kirk can’t vote after Tuesday.

Debby's Web Finds
Kirk can’t vote after Tuesday.

With Democrats threatening to delay the seating of a Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) in the U.S. Senate if he wins the election on Tuesday, Fred Barnes has done a little digging. According to the Massachusetts Constitution, the current holder of the seat (the unelected placeholder for Ted Kennedy, Paul Kirk) can’t vote after Tuesday anyway:

Appointed Senator Paul Kirk will lose his vote in the Senate after Tuesday’s election in Massachusetts of a new senator and cannot be the 60th vote for Democratic health care legislation, according to Republican attorneys.

Kirk has vowed to vote for the Democratic bill even if Republican Scott Brown is elected but not yet certified by state officials and officially seated in the Senate. Kirk’s vote is crucial because without the 60 votes necessary to stop a Republican filibuster, the bill will be defeated.

This would be a devastating loss for President Obama and congressional Democrats. The bill, dubbed ObamaCare, is the centerpiece of the president’s agenda. Brown has campaigned on becoming the 41st vote against ObamaCare.

But in the days after the election, it is Kirk’s status that matters, not Brown’s. Massachusetts law says that an appointed senator remains in office “until election and qualification of the person duly elected to fill the vacancy.” The vacancy occurred when Senator Edward Kennedy died in August. Kirk was picked as interim senator by Governor Deval Patrick.

Democrats in Massachusetts have talked about delaying Brown’s “certification,” should he defeat Democrat Martha Coakley on Tuesday. Their aim would be to allow Kirk to remain in the Senate and vote the health care bill.

But based on Massachusetts law, Senate precedent, and the U.S. Constitution, Republican attorneys said Kirk will no longer be a senator after election day, period. Brown meets the age, citizenship, and residency requirements in the Constitution to qualify for the Senate. “Qualification” does not require state “certification,” the lawyers said.

Well, it seems that’s one hurdle they can’t put up in front of the Republican should he win. But, we must not get cocky as Glenn Reynolds says. This is a Kennedy seat, and a vote for Obama’s health care – don’t count the chickens. Come on Massachusetts – get out and vote and put this so far out of the ballpark to make it impossible to steal, because steal it they will if they can.

Hat Tip:


Bookmark and Share



  1. As I have said, Brown will need to win outside the margin of fraud. We never experienced this until the election for Governor in Washington State in 2004. The D’s plainly stole that election as it appears they did in the Senate race in Minnesota. They certainly won’t be shy about stealing this one if they can get away with it!

  2. Dems should be scared…very scared.

  3. […] Fred Barnes wrote earlier and I blogged about on January 18 here: …based on Massachusetts law, Senate precedent, and the U.S. Constitution, Republican attorneys […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: