Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Patrick Leahy (D-Sleaze)

Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, says it’s “sleazy” and “beneath the dignity of the federal judiciary” for Senate Republicans not to hold a hearing on the Garland nomination. He further claims that he “showed a lot of independence when [he] was chairman of that committee” and that “he held hearings on even controversial things, whether the leadership liked it or not.”

Oh, really?

Is this the same Senator Leahy who, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 2007 and 2008, refused to hold hearings on 31 of George W. Bush’s judicial nominees?

The same Senator Leahy who promised that Fifth Circuit nominee Leslie Southwick would be confirmed before Memorial Day of 2007 but who then, showing what sleazy cowardice really is, joined in the Left’s baseless besmirching of Southwick?

The same Senator Leahy who in 2008 smeared one nominee with the false charge of having made “anti-Catholic comments about a nun.”

And, yes, there’s a lot more beyond 2007 and 2008 that shows that it is Leahy’s own character and conduct that most deserve the label of “sleaze.” 

Leahy does get one thing right, though, as he (in the reporter’s summary) “holds out little hope” that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Garland nomination. 

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