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   Leahy felt blindsided by Sen. Reid

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9/27/2005 10:00 am

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Entered 9/27/2005, Updated 9/27/2005

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Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat, vented frustration with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) during a closed-door Democratic meeting last week before stunning colleagues and liberal activists by announcing his support for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. A day before his surprise declaration, Leahy expressed his irritation at being blindsided over Reid's position, finding out about it from the news media rather than from the minority leader, said lawmakers who attended the meeting. "I think he clearly wished he had known," a lawmaker said. Reid had made it clear to Democratic senators before Roberts's confirmation hearings that no member should get out in front of the caucus by announcing his support or opposition until the hearings had finished. Leahy may have been upset that Reid appeared to be violating his own rule without telling him or the caucus.


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