CAJ Note: Fox News Channel has just reported (2:30 PM EST 2/3/10) that Scott Brown will be sworn in tomorrow. Brown has demanded to be sworn in immediately, not next week as planned, via Breitbart News.
Why is Senator Kirk still voting on legislation?
by SusanAnne Hiller
The Senate has voted on three pieces of legislation today that required 60 votes–to raise the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion, to reduce the deficit by establishing five-year discretionary spending caps, and Ben Bernanke’s confirmation–all of which interim Senator Paul Kirk (D-MA) has voted on. In addition, there have been other Senate votes since Scott Brown was elected as Massachusetts senator that Kirk cast a vote.
The main question here is: why is former Senator Kirk still voting on these legislative pieces? According to Senate rules and precedent, Kirk’s term expired last Tuesday upon the election of Scott Brown. Furthermore, Massachusetts law can be interpreted, according to GOP lawyers, as:
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.
Additionally, as reported in the Weekly Standard and investigated and confirmed by GOP lawyers:
Appointed Senator Paul Kirk will lose his vote in the Senate after Tuesday’s election in Massachusetts of a new senator and cannot be the 60th vote for Democratic health care legislation, according to Republican attorneys.
Read the rest at BigGovernment.com
UPDATE: Ms. Hiller has just posted this new article to BigGovernment.com–
Sen. Kirk Must Step Down; Brown Election To Be Certified Thursday