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Search Senator Leahy’s press releases, floor statements, and Committee speeches by date or by subject.

04.02.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013

Last week, I called on members of the Senate to come together and support reauthorization of the Justice for All Act, a bipartisan law that increased resources devoted to DNA and other forensic technology, established safeguards to prevent wrongful convictions, and enhanced protections for crime victims. The bipartisan bill to reauthorize this historic law was reported unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee last fall. Every Senate Democrat has cleared the way for passage of this importa… Continue Reading


03.31.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the 21st Anniversary of World Water Day

Mr. President, March 21 was the 21st anniversary of World Water Day. On this day, we call attention to the centrality of water in our lives and communities, and we recognize the vital work that must continue to ensure that every person has access to clean water and sanitation. The acute challenges in improving access to clean water and sanitation in developing countries are well known. Nearly 800 million people lack clean water and more than 2 billion people are without basic sanitation. In … Continue Reading


03.28.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013

I urge members from both sides of the aisle to come together and support passage of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013, an important and bipartisan bill that will improve the effectiveness of our criminal justice system. This legislation was voted unanimously out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 31, 2013. It is fitting that the full Senate is considering this legislation now, ahead of Crime Victims' Rights Week. This important legislation, which is cosponsored by Sen… Continue Reading


03.28.14

Leahy & Cornyn Introduce Sweeping Forensics Reform Legislation

(Friday, March 28, 2014) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor with a long history of supporting both law enforcement and crime victims, and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) this week introduced sweeping legislation to improve the use of forensic evidence in criminal cases. The Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Reform Act (S. 2177) promotes national accreditation and certification standards and stronger oversight for forensic labs and practitioners, a… Continue Reading


03.27.14

Leahy, In His Ongoing Push To Ban Anti-Personnel Landmines, Launches A New Series Of Senate Floor Statements, Calling On The President To Join The U.S. Into The Int'l Treaty Banning Landmines

Today (Thursday) Senator Patrick Leahy, who for two decades has been the leading U.S. official in the crusade to rid the world of anti-personnel landmines, launched what he is announcing will be a series of periodic Senate Floor statements on the topic. Both publicly and privately, in scores of private meetings and public appeals, Leahy has unceasingly pressed every president since Bill Clinton to allow the United States to join the international treaty banning landmines. He now continues thos… Continue Reading


03.27.14

Chairman Leahy Announces New Leadership For SJC Subcommittee

(Thursday, March 27, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday announced that Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) will become chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Action. The subcommittee was created at the beginning of the 113th Congress to provide oversight and review of agency rulemaking and agency action. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who currently chairs the subcommittee, is stepping down to take over a gavel on another c… Continue Reading


03.27.14

Leahy’s First Report To The Senate On Rutland Field Hg. On Heroin & Opioid Addiction --

To watch a recording of the hearing on Rutland Community Access Television, please click here. Last week I had the privilege of chairing a field hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee in Rutland, Vermont. The Committee received powerful testimony about community solutions to breaking the cycle of addiction to heroin and other opioids. The hearing marked the fourth time in the past six years that the Judiciary Committee traveled to Vermont to explore issues related to drug abuse. As in man… Continue Reading


03.26.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Conviction Of Sulaiman Abu Ghayth

"Today's conviction of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, in an Article III federal court further underscores federal prosecutors' tremendous record in securing criminal convictions in terrorism-related cases. I commend the work of our nation's dedicated law enforcement and intelligence officials for this accomplishment. President Obama, Attorney General Holder and their national security team made the right choice to bring Abu Ghayth to face justice in federal criminal court. … Continue Reading


03.26.14

Leahy Chairs SJC Hearing On Soon-To-Expire Satellite TV Law

(Wednesday, March 26, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning entitled "Reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act." Leahy led the 2010 reauthorization of the law, known as "STELA," which expires at the end of this year. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on "Reauthorizat… Continue Reading


03.25.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the President’s Proposed Reforms To The Bulk Records Collection Program

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday responded to President Obama's announcement that he will work with Congress to pass legislation to end the bulk surveillance of Americans' phone records. Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act and has presided over five public hearings since last year on the government's surveillance programs.] "I welcome the President's statement that he plans to end the bulk collection of American's phone re… Continue Reading


03.24.14

Leahy Recommends Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford For Vermont’s Upcoming U.S. District Court Vacancy

(MONDAY, March 24, 2014) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday recommended Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford to President Obama, to be the next judge on Vermont's U.S. District Court. Justice Crawford was one of two finalists suggested by the nine-member, nonpartisan Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission, to fill the upcoming vacancy on the court when Judge William Sessions takes senior status. Leahy interviewed the finalists in Vermont earlier this month. L… Continue Reading


03.18.14

For Your March Checklist: Take Steps To Prevent Colon Cancer

It's uncomfortable, though not as much as most of us fear. The preparation the day before is unpleasant. I don't have time for this, we think to ourselves. I don't want to think about this. These are all excuses some people might give when told it's time to schedule a colon cancer screening, such as a colonoscopy. But by putting it off, you could be risking your life. And if you think a colonoscopy might be uncomfortable, unpleasant or time-consuming, consider the implications of colon can… Continue Reading


03.17.14

STATEMENT OF SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT.), CHAIRMAN, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING ON “COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS TO BREAKING THE CYCLE OF HEROIN AND OPIOID ADDICTION” RUTLAND, VERMONT

This hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee will come to order. Today, we will examine the issue of heroin and opioid addiction, and how communities such as Rutland can successfully come together to solve this complex problem. This is a knotted complex of challenges that reaches into neighborhoods and communities of all kinds and sizes, in urban and rural areas alike. Vermont has not been spared. Between 2000 and 2012, treatment for opioid addiction in Vermont rose by more than 770 percen… Continue Reading


03.17.14

Closing Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Field Hearing On “Community Solutions to Breaking the Cycle of Heroin and Opioid Addiction” Rutland, Vermont

At this time, I would like to enter into the record, testimony and statements the Committee has received in connection with this hearing. These include statements from Joseph Krause, the chairman of Rutland's Project VISION, from law enforcement officers, EMTs, judges, education providers, and concerned Vermonters. There are many here in this room who I know hoped to testify today, and many around Vermont who have contacted my office wanting to be part of this hearing. The best stories are tho… Continue Reading


03.13.14

SJC Chairman Leahy Statement On Committee Consideration Of Legislation To Combat Abuse In The Patent System

(Thursday, March 13, 2014) - Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following statement Thursday regarding the Committee's upcoming consideration of legislation to combat abuses in the patent system. Leahy is the author of the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill to protect businesses and innovators who are being improperly targeted by patent trolls. He chaired a hearing on the issue in December and led a series of staff briefings in … Continue Reading


03.13.14

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN PATRICK LEAHY DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND FOREIGN OPERATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE FY 2015 BUDGET REQUEST HEARING WITH SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY

We are here to discuss President Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 budget for the Department of State and foreign operations. Mr. Secretary, welcome. I want to say how impressed I am by the way you have embraced what can only be described as one of the most challenging jobs in the world. It is hard to imagine anyone more qualified for it, and we are very fortunate to have you there. I also want to recognize our committee chairwoman, Senator Mikulski, who has long been an active member and strong sup… Continue Reading


03.12.14

Leahy To Hold Hearing On Satellite Television This Month, On Cable Merger In April

(Wednesday, March 12, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing this month on the upcoming reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA). The legislation allows cable and satellite companies to retransmit broadcast television signals and content to their customers under a statutory license, important elements of which expire this year. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said it is critical the Committee begin discussing reauthorization so that the l… Continue Reading


03.12.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

The last two days, we have spent unnecessary floor time overcoming procedural obstacles so that we can vote to confirm the five judicial nominations before us today. Every single one of the nominees that we will vote on today has bipartisan support and will be confirmed by significant margins. Judge Carolyn McHugh was nominated last May, while all four nominees to the Eastern District of Michigan were nominated last July. All of these nominees could and should have been confirmed before we ad… Continue Reading


03.12.14

STATEMENT OF SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT.), CHAIRMAN, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING ON THE NOMINATION OF LEON RODRIGUEZ TO BE DIRECTOR OF UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing to consider President Obama's nominee to be Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Leon Rodriguez. This office within the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for administering and processing asylum and refugee applications, immigration benefits, and naturalization and visa petitions, including the EB-5 Regional Center Program. This office must have a qualified director at the helm. Since … Continue Reading


03.12.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission’s Completion Of Candidate Screening For Vermont’s Upcoming Federal Judicial Vacancy

[(WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014) -- The U.S. District Court in Vermont is at full strength with two active judges currently serving, but Judge William Sessions' decision to take senior status will soon create a vacancy. The nine-member, nonpartisan Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission consists of three commissioners named by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), three by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and three by the Vermont Bar Association. The merit commission continues a tradition that the late Se… Continue Reading

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