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GOP Seeks to Block Kennedy Successor

A Massachusetts assistant attorney general has moved to dismiss a case in which the state Republican Party is trying to block the swearing-in of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's interim replacement.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Sacks said in a court filing Friday that Gov. Deval Patrick was within his authority to appoint Paul Kirk and make the appointment effective immediately.

He says the judge hearing the case cannot delay Patrick because of the separation of powers principle in government.

Lawmakers passed a bill this week giving Patrick the power to appoint an interim replacement. Laws usually take 90 days to go into effect, but Patrick signed an emergency letter.

Republicans allege he exceeded his constitutional authority.

Kirk is scheduled to be sworn in Friday afternoon in Washington.

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