Monday, January 18, 2010

Well, that plan apparently won't work...

About a week ago, there was talk that even if Scott Brown won the special election tomorrow, the Democrats would delay seating him until after they could get a final vote on the Health Care bill from interim Senator Paul Kirk. According to this Fred Barnes piece in the Weekly Standard says it doesn't matter when Brown is seated, because Kirk cannot vote after the election has taken place.
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.
The key number isn't 41 - it's 60. As long as Kirk can't vote, the Democrats cannot get to 60 without Republican help...

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