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

11.04.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee On the Nominations of Debra Brown and Gregory Woods

Today, we are voting on the nominations of Debra Brown and Gregory Woods to fill vacancies on the District Courts of Mississippi and New York. If confirmed, Ms. Brown would be the first African American woman to serve as a Federal judge in Mississippi. I am proud that together we will reach a landmark moment in diversity on the Federal bench, and I commend President Obama, Senator Wicker, and Senator Cochran for their important efforts. These nominations come at a trying time for the Federal … Continue Reading


11.01.13

USA FREEDOM Act Draws Bipartisan Praise

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), chairman of the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee in the House, welcomed the broad support among stakeholders for legislation they introduced this week that would end the government's dragnet collection of phone records and require greater oversight, transparency and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities. "The breadth of support for our bipartisan, bicameral legisl… Continue Reading


10.31.13

Leahy: More Than $4.2 M. In Grants Awarded To Tackle Domestic Violence in Vermont

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that Vermont organizations have received more than $4.2 million in federal grants to support programs that are vital in preventing and prosecuting crimes related to domestic violence. The funding was recently awarded in a total of 10 grants from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women. Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Justice Department. Leahy authored and, this year, steered to enactment… Continue Reading


10.31.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of Patricia Millett to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Patricia Millett is unquestionably qualified to be the next judge on the D.C. Circuit. The Senate will soon vote to end debate on her nomination and I hope that the rank partisanship that shut down our government earlier this month will not be on display again with this upcoming vote. I hope the moderates who prided themselves in finding a solution to the shutdown will agree that Ms. Millett is an extraordinary nominee who should not be filibustered. Over the last few weeks, I have heard t… Continue Reading


10.31.13

Senate Panel Approves Nomination To D.C. Circuit

(Thursday, October 31, 2013) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday continued its work of processing judicial vacancies by approving the nomination of Robert Wilkins to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Wilkins would fill one of three vacancies on the 11-seat court. The Committee's approval of Judge Wilkins's nomination comes as the full Senate is poised to consider another nominee to the D.C. Circuit, Patricia Millett. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the Senate must confir… Continue Reading


10.31.13

Statement of Chairman Patrick Leahy Business Meeting Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act

The antitrust laws play a key role in promoting competition and protecting consumers. Criminal violations of these laws, which include offenses like price fixing, have a particularly negative effect on consumers. Proper enforcement of the antitrust laws ensures a free and fair marketplace where companies compete and consumers benefit. The bipartisan Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act will aid in the enforcement of these laws by protecting those who blow the whistle on criminal antitrust … Continue Reading


10.31.13

For Freedom's Sake

On Tuesday Senator Pat Leahy introduced the USA Freedom Act. It would dramatically curtail the National Security Agency's dragnet domestic surveillance programs by creating privacy advocates in the FISA Courts, requiring transparency of the secret court's decisions, and obligating the government to justify the collection of Americans' communications before doing so. A companion bill was introduced in the House by Wisconsin Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R). The House bill is particularly no… Continue Reading


10.30.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Reports Of NSA Break-In Of Email Data Centers

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday responding to reports that communications links between the data centers of Internet companies Google and Yahoo were infiltrated by the National Security Administration. This week, Leahy introduced the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) that would require greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to the government's surveillance authorities… Continue Reading


10.30.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), House-Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee

At long last, we are convening to reconcile our differences and enact a meaningful Farm Bill. I hope we will work in the same bipartisan spirit that has guided every Farm Bill conference of which I have been a part - and there have been seven of them since 1981. It has been 13 months since the last Farm Bill expired. I hear from farmers and rural communities in Vermont every day, telling me how imperative it is that we overcome our differences. This is not only a Farm Bill; it is a trade bill… Continue Reading


10.30.13

Leahy: Senate Should Confirm Millett To The D.C. Circuit Court

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday called on Republicans to support the nomination of Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Millett is nominated to the court's ninth seat, a seat which was last filled by John Roberts, who was confirmed by voice vote in 2003 before his elevation to the Supreme Court. "Patricia Millett is an extraordinary nominee with impeccable credentials for this important appellate court," Leahy said. "I hope that her co… Continue Reading


10.30.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the United States Parole Commission Extension Act of 2013, H.R. 3190

The United States Parole Commission is scheduled to expire tomorrow. After significant bicameral negotiations, two weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed by unanimous consent a bipartisan bill, H.R. 3190, to reauthorize the Commission for five years. Public safety demands that we pass this legislation swiftly and I urge the Senate to support its immediate enactment. We should have passed this bill weeks ago, but a single Republican hold has placed us in the precarious position of seeki… Continue Reading


10.29.13

AT-A-GLANCE SUMMARY: THE USA FREEDOM ACT (LEAHY-SENSENBRENNER)

At-A-Glance SUMMARY: The USA FREEDOM Act (Leahy-Sensenbrenner) Public revelations about classified government surveillance programs have brought renewed attention to the powerful authorities contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and in particular the implications for the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans. The bipartisan, bicameral USA FREEDOM Act will rein in the dragnet collection of data by the National Security Agency (NSA), increase the transparency of … Continue Reading


10.29.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Introduction of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2013

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, was enacted 35 years ago to limit the government's ability to engage in domestic surveillance operations. In the years since September 11, 2001, Congress has repeatedly expanded the scope of this law to provide the government with broad new powers to gather information about law-abiding Americans. No one underestimates the threat this country continues to face, and we can all agree that the intelligence community should be given necessary and… Continue Reading


10.29.13

Leahy & Sensenbrenner Join To Introduce USA FREEDOM Act

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), chairman of the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee in the House, introduced on Tuesday legislation that seeks to restore Americans' privacy rights by ending the government's dragnet collection of phone records and requiring greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities. "The government surveillance programs conducted under the Foreign Su… Continue Reading


10.29.13

Leahy, Senators To Join With Military Spouses TODAY In Calling For The Confirmation Of Patricia Millett To The D.C. Circuit

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will be joined by a host of Democratic Senators and military spouses at a press conference TODAY to call for the confirmation of Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Millett's nomination will be debated in the Senate this week. Millett is nominated to fill one of three vacancies on the D.C. Circuit. If confirmed, she would fill the seat previously held by Chief Justice John Roberts. Millett has served in the Office of t… Continue Reading


10.28.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the 27th Anniversary of the Enactment Of The Electronic Communications Privacy Act

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), one of the Nation's premiere digital privacy laws, was enacted 27 years ago on October 21st. I join the many privacy advocates, technology organizations, legal scholars and other Americans who celebrate this milestone and all that ECPA has come to symbolize about the importance of safeguarding our privacy rights in cyberspace. When I introduced ECPA with former Republican Senator Charles Mathias in 1986, I said that "the privacy protections in … Continue Reading


10.25.13

SJC To Hold Oversight Hearing On Bureau Of Prisons

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the Bureau of Prisons in two weeks, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday. The hearing, which will be chaired by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), is part of the Committee's regular oversight function and will also explore cost-effective ways to reduce recidivism. The government spends $6.4 billion annually on federal prisons, which is around one-quarter of the Department of Justice budget. The Judiciary Committee held i… Continue Reading


10.25.13

Vermont Law Enforcement Agencies Receive Funds To Purchase Bulletproof Vests Under Leahy-Authored Grant Program

(FRIDAY, Oct. 25, 2013) - Law enforcement officers in 31 Vermont towns, cities and counties will receive critical funding to purchase bulletproof vests under the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), an original coauthor of the legislation creating the program, hailed the news and called on lawmakers to support the program by passing a reauthorization bill currently pending in the Senate. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, established in 1998 th… Continue Reading


10.23.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The House Proposal To Combat Patent Trolls

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after introduction of legislation in the House to combat patent troll abuse. Leahy is working on bipartisan legislation to protect retailers and innovators from misuse of the patent system and has been coordinating with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) on the issue.] "I commend Chairman Goodlatte on introduction of legislation to combat patent trolling. This is an issue on… Continue Reading


10.18.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination Of Jeh Johnson To Be The Secretary Of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is an agency charged with handling matters related to immigration, disaster relief and national security, and several of these issues have been at the forefront of the Judiciary Committee's legislative agenda this year. Jeh Johnson possesses many qualifications needed to lead the Department, and I intend to raise with him many of the Judiciary Committee's priorities. I appreciated his leadership and work related to the repeal of the Department of Defense's Don… Continue Reading

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