Sen. Leahy now third in line for the presidency

Updated
US Vice President Joe Biden(R) administers the oath of office to US Senator Patrick Leahy(L),D-VT, to be president pro tempore of the Senate as his wife...
US Vice President Joe Biden(R) administers the oath of office to US Senator Patrick Leahy(L),D-VT, to be president pro tempore of the Senate as his wife...
KAREN BLEIER

With the sad news that Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, has passed away, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is now third in the line of presidential succession, behind the vice president and House Speaker John Boehner. Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath of office to Leahy Tuesday on the Senate floor.

The President Pro Tempore (or Pro Tem as the office is colloquially known) is mostly an honorary title. By tradition, the position goes to the longest serving member of the majority party. Leahy was first elected in 1974, and sworn into office Jan 3, 1975. He is the 11th longest serving senator in US history. The next-longest serving sitting senator is Orrin Hatch of Utah, who was elected in 1976 and sworn in Jan 3, 1976.


As NBC’s First Read points out: If he weren’t VP, Joe Biden would have been the pro tempore (he was elected in 1972). With Inouye’s passing and Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka’s upcoming retirement, the next Senate will have just one remaining WWII veteran: Sen. Frank Lautenberg (who served in Army Signal Corps).

Chuck Todd remembered Senator Inouye on The Daily Rundown:

Sen. Leahy now third in line for the presidency

Updated