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Mass. judge rejects delay to Kirk swear-in

BOSTON (AP) -- A Massachusetts judge has rejected a Republican request to delay the swearing in of Sen. Edward Kennedy's temporary replacement.

The Massachusetts Republican Party argued that Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick exceeded his constitutional authority by appointing Paul Kirk on Thursday. Lawmakers passed a bill this week giving Patrick the power to choose an interim senator.

Laws usually take effect in 90 days, but Patrick signed a letter declaring the bill an emergency.

Republicans said law permitting such a declaration does not apply in this case. The state attorney general's office disagreed.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly denied the request and dismissed the case after hearing arguments Friday morning.

Kirk is to be sworn in Friday afternoon in Washington.

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