Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. (born February 20, 1942) is an American Republican politician, serving since 1985 as the senior United States senator for Kentucky, and since January 20, 2021, as Senate Minority Leader. He previously served as majority leader between January 2015 and January 2021. McConnell is the senior U.S. senator for Kentucky, having been first elected to the Senate in 1984, and is the second Kentuckian to serve as a party leader in the Senate. During the 1998 and 2000 election cycles, he was chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He was elected Majority Whip in the 108th Congress and re-elected to the post in 2004. In November 2006, he was elected Senate minority leader – a post he held that until 2015, when Republicans took control of the Senate. McConnell holds conservative political positions, although he was known as a pragmatist and a moderate Republican early in his political career. He led opposition to stricter campaign finance laws, culminating in the Supreme Court ruling Citizens United v. FEC that partially overturned the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold) in 2010. McConnell worked to withhold Republican support for major presidential initiatives during the Obama administration, having made frequent use of the filibuster, and blocked many of President Barack Obama's judicial nominees, including Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. During the Trump administration, Senate Republicans, under McConnell's leadership, broke a record for largest number of federal appeals court judges confirmed during a president's first two years; among those nominees were Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, all of whom were confirmed to the Supreme Court. After the 2020 United States Senate elections, McConnell returned to the position of minority leader. In February 2021, in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, McConnell voted to acquit Trump due to an issue concerning Constitutional jurisdiction. However, McConnell stated he believed Trump engaged in a “disgraceful dereliction of duty" and that "there is no question... that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the event of that day".