Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), suffering from incurable brain cancer, has privately asked Massachusetts officials to alter state law to allow a temporary appointment to fill his seat in the event it becomes vacant, the Boston Globe reports this morning. Current state law requires that vacated congressional seats be filled by special election.
Although Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, does not specifically mention his illness or the health care debate raging in Washington, the implication of his letter is clear: He is trying to make sure that the leading cause in his life, better health coverage for all, advances in the event of his death.
The letter is grim acknowledgment that Kennedy, whose surprise appearance on Capitol Hill last summer prevented Republicans from killing a vital Democratic Medicare bill, might not be healthy enough to pull off the same heroics this year.