The Associated Press
Friday, Sept. 25, 2009 | 1:15 p.m.
Former Democratic Party chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr. has taken over for the late Edward Kennedy in the Senate.
Vice President Joe Biden swore in Kirk on Friday hours after a Massachusetts judge rejected a Republican request to delay it.
The GOP had argued that Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick exceeded his constitutional authority by appointing Kirk before a traditional 90-day legislative waiting period had expired. State lawmakers passed a bill this week giving Patrick the power to choose an interim senator.
Kirk gives Senate Democrats a filibuster-proof, 60-vote majority with the health care fight at a critical point.
He will serve in the interim post until voters pick a replacement in a Jan. 19 special election.