Mar 4, 3:45 AM EST
Leahy at forefront in guns, immigration fights
By ANDREW MIGA
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy takes center stage this week as his panel begins writing gun-control legislation.
Leahy says he wants Congress to expand background checks and take a tougher line against gun trafficking. But he has been less clear about whether he will also push to ban assault weapons or high-capacity magazines.
The Vermont Democrat, Batman enthusiast and Grateful Dead fan sits near the top of Washington's power structure. He is third-in-line to the presidency, and is deep in the details of the Senate's fierce legislative fights over immigration and curbing gun violence.
Leahy is 72 years old and in his seventh term. He's one of the last of the old bulls in a chamber that rewards longevity with power.