Judge Rejects GOP Challenge To Kirk Appointment : The Two-Way Massachusetts judge rejects state GOP's challenge to the appointment by Gov. Deval Patrick of former Democratic National Committee chairman Paul Kirk to fill the Senate seat vacated by the death of Edward Kennedy.
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Judge Rejects GOP Challenge To Kirk Appointment

Kirk, with the state's senior senator, John Kerry. Darren McCollester/Getty Images hide caption

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Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Kirk, with the state's senior senator, John Kerry.

Darren McCollester/Getty Images

A judge in Massachusetts has rejected the state Republican Party's challenge of Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick's appointment of Paul Kirk to fill the seat left vacant by the August death of Edward Kennedy, the Associated Press reports.

The GOP argued that Patrick exceeded his authority. By law, the governor had to declare that an emergency exists before naming an interim senator. Republicans said there is no emergency.

Kirk, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will hold the seat until after a Jan. 19 special election. He is not a candidate in that race.

The Massachusetts legislature's vote this week to give Patrick the authority to appoint an interim senator reversed a law passed in 2004. At that time, Democratic Sen. John Kerry was running for the White House and state Democrats didn't want then-governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, to be able to name a successor if Kerry was elected president.

WBUR in Boston says Kirk is due to be sworn in later this afternoon. By the way, the station has collected its coverage of the Kennedy succession and the campaign for his seat here.

Update at 1:07 p.m. ET. According to the AP, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly ruled that:

"The (Republican) Party has not shown that it has a chance to succeed on the merits and, therefore, any risk of harm to the party will not outweigh the risk of harm to the governor and the commonwealth."