Patrick Leahy

From Academic Kids

Patrick Leahy

Patrick Joseph Leahy (born March 31 1940) is the senior United States Senator from Vermont. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Born in Montpelier, Vermont, Leahy graduated from St. Michael's College in 1961 and received his J.D. degree from Georgetown University in 1964. He practiced as a lawyer until he was elected to the United States Senate for the first time in 1974. Leahy was only the second Democrat ever elected to Congress from Vermont, and was the first Democrat ever elected to the US Senate from Vermont. He had served four terms as State's Attorney of Chittenden County from 1966 to 1974 prior to being elected to the Senate.

He was reelected in 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, and 2004. He was chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry from 1987 until the Democrats lost control of the Senate in 1995, and was then Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2001 until the Democrats lost control again in 2003. He is now the ranking member of that committee and is one of the leaders in the Democratic Party's effort to block several nominees put forward by President George W. Bush for federal judgeships. Leahy also serves as third-highest Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee and as the Ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. In his position as the second-highest Democrat on the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee Leahy serves as the Ranking Democrat on the United States Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Research, Nutrition, and General Legislation.

In 1987, Leahy resigned from his position as Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee after an investigation into an alleged leak to an reporter regarding classified information. Other allegations have been made about other leaks, but the investigation was never made public.

The 1998 election was noteworthy in that Leahy had the rare endorsement of his Republican opponent, Fred Tuttle. Fred was the lead actor in the Vermont movie Man With A Plan, in which a farmer decides to run for the House. Fred was persuaded to run in real life for the Senate; after a surprise defeat of the other Republican canidate Jack McMullen, Fred told voters to vote for Leahy because he didn't want to move to Washington D.C. Leahy was touched by this gesture; he once said that Fred was the "distilled essence of Vermonthood".

Leahy was one of two Senators targeted in the 2001 anthrax attacks. The anthrax letter meant for him was intercepted before it reached his office.

In 2004 Senator Leahy was awarded the Electronic Privacy Information Center's Champion of Freedom Award for efforts in information privacy and open government. Leahy is regarded as one of the leading privacy advocates in Congress. Leahy is also passionate about the issue of land mines.

On June 22, 2004 Leahy and Vice President Dick Cheney participated in the US Senate class photo. During this time, Cheney upbraided Leahy for Leahy's recent excoriations of Cheney over Halliburton's alleged war profiteering. The discussion ended with Cheney telling Leahy to "... go fuck yourself." Some have pointed to this incident as yet further evidence of the culture of extreme partisanship preeminent in Washington.

On November 2, 2004, Leahy easily defeated his opponent, businessman Jack McMullen, with 70.6% of the vote.

On January 5th, 2005, Leahy was sworn in for his sixth term in the Senate by Vice President Cheney without incident.

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Preceded by:
George Aiken
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Vermont
Succeeded by:

Template:End box Template:VT-FedRep Template:Current U.S Senators


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