“This isn’t just illegitimate; it’s a caricature of illegitimacy,” tweeted Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy during the confirmation process of President Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who is expected to be confirmed just days before the 2020 presidential election. Leahy says that Barrett’s appointment “diminishes [the Supreme Court’s] moral authority.” Leahy also discusses his views on court packing and the rising threat to abortion rights.
Leahy is the last of the Senate’s “Watergate babies,” the Democrats who were elected in November 1974, just months after President Richard Nixon resigned in scandal. Despite current challenges, Leahy remains hopeful about the future. “I really do believe in our better angels,” he muses. “We can do better and get over this.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy has represented Vermont in the U.S. Senate since 1974 . He is the longest serving senator in the U.S. Senate. Philip Baruth’s new biography, Senator Leahy: A Life in Scenes, chronicles how Leahy, a Catholic and a Democrat, was never expected to win his 1974 election. Leahy was Vermont’s first Democratic senator and won several subsequent elections by razor-thin majorities. Baruth is a professor of English at UVM and a Vermont state senator. He served as Vt. Senate majority leader from 2012 to 2016. Baruth discusses Leahy’s legacy, elections and oppositional roles under Pres. Bush and Reagan. Baruth also talks about Vermont politics and his assessment of Gov. Phil Scott’s first six months. (August 2, 2017 broadcast)
Philip Baruth, author, professor, Vermont state senator