Re-Re-arranging Massachusetts’ Succession Law
The senior senator from Massachusetts has written a letter urging the Mass state legislature to change the method by which a US senate seat would be filled in the event of a vacancy.
Change it … back to the way it was the first time he urged them to change it five years ago. John Fund, writing for the Wall Street Journal. (h/t Howie Carr)
Until 2004, Massachusetts had a law allowing the governor to appoint a Senator to hold a vacant seat until the next regular election. In that year, faced with the possibility Senator John Kerry succeeding in his bid for the presidency, the Democratic legislature balked at the idea of an appointment being made to fill his seat by then-GOP Governor Mitt Romney. When the legislature hesitated to pass such a blatantly self-serving bill, Senator Kennedy made two direct appeals to the state senate’s president to revive the stalled bill, including a phone call to his home over a weekend.
It worked. In 2004, the Democrat-controlled legislature
passed a law creating the special election process and taking away the governor’s right to make a temporary appointment.
See, ’cause it’s so important that the people and not the Governor fill a vacant senate seat.
… er, unless the Governor is a Democrat and we’ve got unpopular legislation pending in Congress. In that case, Senator Kennedy …?
it is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens and two votes in the Senate during the approximately five months between a vacancy and an election.