Sen. Patrick Leahy hospitalized after not feeling well

Sen. Patrick Leahy is in the hospital tonight for observation after he became ill while in his Senate office.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the longest-serving senator and the president pro tempore, was taken to a hospital in Washington for observation early Tuesday evening after he reported not feeling well, his spokesman said.

Mr. Leahy, whose position in the Senate puts him third in line for the presidency, oversaw the start of the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald J. Trump earlier on Tuesday. At 80, Mr. Leahy is one of the oldest senators and has served in the Senate since 1975.

Just to clarify, Leahy is the longest serving member of the current Senate but he is only the 5th longest serving in history. Senators Byrd, Inouye, Thurmond and Kennedy all served slightly longer.

Leahy and other Members of Congress have already received the coronavirus vaccine so it’s unlikely he’s ill from COVID. The statement released by his office was pretty vague about his symptoms:

Another long-serving Senator was quick to wish him well:

Leahy had spent the morning presiding over Senate activities related to the impeachment trial, including a vote forced by Sen. Paul over whether the trial itself is constitutional. That effort failed but, as Ed noted here, it probably takes all of the suspense out of the trial itself. Only five Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the trial to proceed.

If Leahy were unable to proceed, another Democrat would need to be sworn in to take his place as President Pro Tempore. Who that would be isn’t clear at the moment. Here’s video of Leahy being sworn in by Sen. Grassley this morning.