Inouye's Death Will Lead to Senate Panel Switches

Sen. Leahy now third in line to be president.


The death of Democrat Daniel Inouye has touched off musical chairs in the U.S. Senate, where tradition and seniority are hallmarks.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., was sworn in Tuesday as the president pro tempore of the Senate—a post Hawaii's Inouye, the Senate's most senior Democrat, held at the time of his death. As such, Leahy is now third in line of presidential succession and will preside over the chamber whenever the vice president isn't present.

The impact of Inouye's passing doesn't stop there. There are also powerful committee chairmanships that will be shuffled.