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

12.16.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On D.C. District Court Ruling On The NSA’s Telephone Surveillance Program

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following comment Monday after a D.C. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction ruling regarding the National Security Agency's phone surveillance program. Leahy introduced in November the USA FREEDOM Act, a bipartisan bill that would end the bulk collection of phone records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.] "Americans deserve an open and transparent debate about the constitutionality, efficacy, and appropr… Continue Reading


12.14.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The One Year Anniversary Of The Tragedy At Sandy Hook Elementary School

"It has been one year since our hearts were broken by the unimaginable tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Marcelle and I give our thoughts and prayers in honor and remembrance of the innocent children and educators whose lives were taken, and to their brave and loving families who bear so great a burden. On this solemn anniversary, we keep in our hearts these families and a community that has lost so much." # # # # #… Continue Reading


12.13.13

Leahy Announces Witness List For Next Week’s Patent Troll Hearing

(FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday released a witness list for the December 17 hearing on bipartisan legislation to combat so-called "patent trolls." New England Federal Credit Union President and CEO John Dwyer, from Williston, Vt., is among those scheduled to testify. Leahy has also invited Michael Makin, president and CEO of Printing Industries of America, to appear before the panel. "When small businesses in Vermont and across the… Continue Reading


12.13.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee on the Confirmation of Patricia M. Wald to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

I commend the Senate for confirming Judge Patricia M. Wald to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board ("PCLOB"). The Senate previously confirmed Judge Wald to this post on August 2, 2012. The President re-nominated Judge Wald to this position in March, and the Judiciary Committee favorably reported the nomination without objection months ago. Like many other nominees, her confirmation has been held up on the floor for months by Senate Republicans. During her tenure on … Continue Reading


12.12.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Agreement To Restoring Users’ Ability to Unlock Cellphones

[The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday announced that it had reached a voluntary agreement with the wireless industry allowing consumers to "unlock" their cell phones. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced the bipartisan Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, S. 517, in March after the United States Library of Congress declined to renew an exemption to section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that allowed consumers to easily t… Continue Reading


12.12.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of Cornelia “Nina” Pillard

Tonight we will vote on the nomination of Nina Pillard to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. On Tuesday, we were finally able to invoke cloture on her nomination, after it had been unjustifiably filibustered by Senate Republicans for nearly three months after being favorably voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The D.C. Circuit is often considered to be the second most important court in the Nation and should be operating at full strength. We are finally taking another st… Continue Reading


12.12.13

Senate Confirms Pillard To The D.C. Circuit Court

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) applauded on Thursday the confirmation of Nina Pillard to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Pillard's confirmation to a seat left vacant since October 2011 also marks an historic milestone for the prestigious court that will now have five active female judges currently serving. "Despite having filled nearly half of law school classrooms for the last 20 years, women are grossly underrepresented on our Federal courts. We need w… Continue Reading


12.11.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Third Oversight Hearing On Government Surveillance Programs

(Wednesday, December 11, 2013) -The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday afternoon is holding a hearing titled "Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities." Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) convened similar oversight hearings in July and October on the use of government surveillance programs. Member statements, witness testimony and a webcast of today's hearing are available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing o… Continue Reading


12.11.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination Of Alejandro Mayorkas To Be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reported out the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The position has not had a Senate-confirmed leader since April.] "I applaud Chairman Carper and members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for approving the nomination of Alejandro Mayor… Continue Reading


12.10.13

Senate Moves Closer To Filling Vacancies On D.C. Circuit

The Senate moved closer Tuesday to confirming Nina Pillard to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals after voting to overcome a filibuster of her nomination. Republicans last month blocked the Senate from debating Pillard's nomination, but recent changes to Senate rules have now enabled the chamber to overcome such obstruction. As a result, Pillard is poised to be confirmed to what is often referred to as the nation's second most important court behind the Supreme Court. "The D.C. Circuit… Continue Reading


12.10.13

Hearing On Assistance For Jordan And Lebanon And Refugee Relief, Related To The Civil War In Syria

Chairman Patrick Leahy Hearing On Assistance For Jordan And Lebanon And Refugee Relief, Related To The Civil War In Syria Department of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee December 10, 2013 I want to welcome our witnesses: Anne Richard, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; Ambassador Bouran of Jordan and Ambassador Chedid of Lebanon; and Andrew Harper and Ewen Macleod from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Thank… Continue Reading


12.10.13

Senate Confirms Millett To The D.C. Circuit Court

Senate Confirms Millett To The D.C. Circuit Court WASHINGTON (Tuesday, December 10, 2013) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) applauded on Tuesday the confirmation of Patricia Millett to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Millett will be just the sixth woman ever to serve on the influential court in its 120-year history. "Patricia Millett has risen through the ranks of government and private practice to earn a place among the best appellate practitioners i… Continue Reading


12.06.13

BOXER, CASEY, LEAHY, SHAHEEN, CARDIN, BLUMENTHAL AND AYOTTE URGE PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI TO PROTECT WOMEN IN THE AFGHAN NATIONAL POLICE

BOXER, CASEY, LEAHY, SHAHEEN, CARDIN, BLUMENTHAL AND AYOTTE URGE PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI TO PROTECT WOMEN IN THE AFGHAN NATIONAL POLICE An Alarming 70 Percent of Afghan Policewomen Report Experiencing Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today sent a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai urging him to take im… Continue Reading


12.05.13

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

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after the House of Representatives passed legislation to combat patent troll abuse. Leahy recently introduced the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 to protect retailers and innovators from misuse of the patent system. The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the legislation later this month.] "I commend the House for taking action to address the growing problem of patent trolls… Continue Reading


12.05.13

SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY KEYNOTE ADDRESS HUMAN RIGHTS FIRST SUMMIT THE NEWSEUM WASHINGTON, D.C.

Thank you, Elisa, for inviting me here. I also want to thank all the Human Rights First staff and board members who made this two day summit possible. The breadth of the issues you are covering is impressive. I have long been an admirer of Human Rights First. A great deal of what I have been able to do on human rights during my time in the Senate is because of the research and advocacy of your organization and of others who are involved in this work. There are several topics I want to touch … Continue Reading


12.05.13

Leahy: Senate Judiciary Committee To Hold Hearing On Patent Trolls This Month

(Thursday, December 5, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing this month to examine pending patent troll legislation, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday. The hearing, titled "Protecting Small Businesses and Promoting Innovation by Limiting Patent Troll Abuse," comes just weeks after Leahy and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013. The bipartisan bill aims to protect businesses and innovators who are being imp… Continue Reading


12.05.13

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore Of The Senate) On The Death Of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is a legend for our times and for the ages. He was the world's compass through the dark night of South African apartheid, leading his country into the light. The images of his walk to freedom through the prison gates are etched in our memories and on the pages of history. His courage is a lesson to us all, and so is his selflessness. I will always cherish the memory of meeting with him when he came to the Capitol in 1994. I had the honor of serving on the Senate's escort comm… Continue Reading


12.04.13

Comments of Senator Patrick Leahy On Secretary Hagel’s Commitment To Facilitate Equal Access To Benefits For Same-Sex Partners In The National Guard

"As co-chair of the National Guard Caucus and a strong supporter of equal rights for same-sex partners, I was pleased to hear Secretary Hagel's announcement that we are close to reaching the goal of equality for all men and women in the National Guard and for their loved ones. Vermonters and all Americans rely on the dedication and professionalism of all of the members of our National Guard, whoever they are, to defend our security in times of conflict and to support our communities in times of… Continue Reading


12.03.13

Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Shumlin – On AF’s Selection Of Burlington For F-35 Basing

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) -- and Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) Tuesday issued the following statement after the Air Force announced its decision on basing F-35 aircraft at the Vermont Air National Guard: "The Air Force decision to base its newest generation of planes in Burlington is a tribute to the Vermont Air National Guard, which is the finest in the nation. It reflects the Guard's de… Continue Reading


11.25.13

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Interim Nuclear Agreement With Iran

[Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is President Pro Tempore of the Senate and chairs the State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.] "I've been briefed by our negotiators in Geneva. I am encouraged that they and most of our allies believe this is a good, interim deal with the necessary checks and balances. Obviously some of our friends in the region like Saudi Arabia and Israel have concerns about the deal. The Administration will have a short… Continue Reading

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