Named for former Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a.k.a. "Teddy" Kennedy. Senator Kennedy influenced the Massachusetts state legislature to change the Senatorial succession law during the 2004 election. His reasons were strictly because Senator John Kerry, if elected President, would be replaced by an appointee of (then) Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican. At the time, Kennedy was against any interim appointment until a special election could be held.
In 2009, as he neared death from brain cancer, Kennedy asked the state legislature to revise the law so that the governor could make an interim appointment. The governor of Massachusetts in 2009 was (is) Deval Patrick, a Democrat.