Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Let’s see if I have this right. Your article “Kennedy’s Senate seat could be filled by late September” (Nation, Friday) says that under Massachusetts law, a vacant U.S. Senate seat requires an election within 145 to 160 days after the vacancy occurs. This law was enacted in 2004, when Massachusetts had a Republican governor but the Democrats controlled the legislature. Before that time, a vacancy would have to be filled by the governor’s appointment. The 2004 change was enacted to prevent a Republican governor from naming someone to fill Sen. John Kerry’s vacant seat should he have been elected president.

But now that the governor is a Democrat, the Democratic-controlled legislature is considering changing the law back to the previous appointment process. Are there any statesmen left in Massachusetts? No, they are all just politicians exercising raw political power.



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