Senate Leader on Immigration Issues Will Not Be Chairing Judiciary Committee After All

Politico is reporting tonight that Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy is turning down the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee in order to remain as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee—which I gather comes as something of a surprise. (The Appropriations Committee spot opened up following the death of Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye.)

Leahy staying put is sort of interesting from the perspective of immigration reform, because the assumption was that California Senator Diane Feinstein would take over as Judiciary chair once Leahy moved over to Appropriations. Feinstein is a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, and was the sponsor of the DREAM Act and other immigration bills in recent years.