UPDATE: Robert Byrd Died Monday at the age of 92.

The longest serving member of the Senate, Robert Byrd is hospitalized in what his office is saying is a “seriously ill” condition. Byrd is 92 years old and is currently serving his ninth term in the US Senate. Senator Byrd is in a Washington D.C. area hospital.

479px Robert Byrd official portrait

Byrd was initially hospitalized due to heat exhaustion. He was expected to remain in an undisclosed hospital for just a few days, but his office reports that his condition deteriorated and doctors now describe Robert Byrd seriously ill.

In the event that Byrd were unable to finish out his record setting 9th Senate term, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin would appoint someone to fill the seat. Manchin is a democrat so the balance of power in the Senate would not be affected if Byrd were to vacate the seat.

Robert Byrd is a living legend so to speak in the state of West Virginia. Over his 50 plus years in the Senate, millions upon millions of dollars have been allocated to West Virginia much in part to the dealings of Robert Byrd. Hospitalized now, seriously ill, the landscape of the Senate would change if Byrd were no longer there.

You can consider this an open thread for the overnight hours. For your viewing pleasure, I give you some classic Senator Robert Byrd below. We wish him well.

UPDATE 6/28/10: Senator Robert Byrd Dies at the age of 92. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.