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- With the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) became the senior-most member of the majority caucus, and thus was sworn in today as Senate President Pro-Tempore.
- More importantly, Leahy is widely expected to take Inouye’s gavel on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is next in seniority to take over Leahy’s gavel at Judiciary.
- Meanwhile, Matt Yglesias explains what a tremendously stupid idea it is to place the Senate President Pro-Tempore — a position that is all but guaranteed to rest in the hands of a “random old senator” — in the line of succession for the presidency.
- Alabama state Sen. Gerald Dial (R) wants to write a so-called “right to work” law, which effectively transfers wealth from workers to their bosses, into his state’s constitution.
- A federal judge in DC will not throw out a criminal case after law enforcement used cell phone towers to track a suspect without first obtaining a warrant.
- And, finally, a Missouri police department gets an expensive reminder that bans on flag desecration are still unconstitutional.