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


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report

"The Intelligence Committee's report on the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program should be shared with the American people to the greatest extent possible. The Senate at its best can act as the conscience of the Nation, and part of that responsibility is ensuring transparency in our government. We cannot learn from our mistakes without understanding what happened and how they occurred. The administration should move swiftly to review the committee's executive summary, findings … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Governor Shumlin’s Initiative On Opioid Prescription Medicine

"I applaud Governor Shumlin for taking steps to ensure that powerful prescription opioids, which clearly have a high potential for abuse, are tightly controlled in Vermont. Smart regulation, combined with vigilant prescribing practices, will help keep Vermonters from sliding into addiction and will save lives. I am also urging the FDA to quickly review safer, abuse-deterrent formulations of single-ingredient hydrocodone products. As we learned at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in R… Continue Reading


SJC Approves Judicial Nominees, Continues Work On Patent Legislation

(Thursday, April 3, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved four judicial nominees and the nominee to lead the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and continued its discussion of legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to rein in abuses in the patent system. Cheryl Krause, nominated to fill a judicial vacancy on the 3rd Circuit, was approved unanimously. The Committee also approved three district court nominees during Thursday's executive business meeti… Continue Reading


Remarks on Mines Advisory Group Photo Exhibit Russell Building Rotunda

I want to thank the Mines Advisory Group not only for this very moving exhibit, but for the 25 years of dangerous, lifesaving work you have done around the world to clear landmines and other unexploded ordnance. It is extraordinary when you think of the impact MAG has had, making roads and fields safe again in more than 35 countries. It is work that governments should have done, but you did it. The photographs are a tribute to MAG's work, and they remind us, once again, why we have been figh… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decision In McCutcheon v. FEC

[The Supreme Court Wednesday issued its ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. In a 5-4 decision, the Court, once again, reversed long-standing precedent and declared aggregate limits on campaign contributions in elections to be unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment.] "Four years after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its controversial Citizens United decision, five justices once again have decided to rule on the side of moneyed interests and against the American… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Assistance for Ukraine

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, yesterday afternoon a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives passed Senate legislation to provide loan guarantees to Ukraine and to impose sanctions on certain Ukrainian and Russian officials. This legislation comes at a time when Ukraine's future hangs in the balance between democracy and dictatorship. The brave Ukrainians who protested across the country and at Maidan square have shown an inspiring determination to defend their freedom. Many of them e… Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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

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