Patrick Joseph Leahy is the senior United States Senator from Vermont, in office since 1975. A member of the Democratic Party, Leahy has been the President pro tempore of the United States Senate since December 17, 2012; as President pro tempore, he is third in the presidential line of succession. He is the most senior senator and took office at a younger age than any other current senator. Leahy will receive the title of President pro tempore emeritus upon the commencement of the 114th Congress.
Leahy is the only elected Democratic Senator in Vermont's history. He is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee worked extensively on prison reform with the introduction on a number of bills aimed at reforming the overcrowded prisons. The bills include: the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, The Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013, and the Public Safety Enhancement Act.