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

03.20.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Domestic Use Of Drones

(Wednesday, March 20, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing entitled, "The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations." Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who outlined his concerns about the growing use of drones by federal and local authorities in January, delivered the following opening remarks at today's hearing. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. # # # # # Statement of … Continue Reading


03.19.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Sequestration’s Impact on Vermont Senate Floor

It has been more than two weeks since an all too familiar stalemate in Congress prevented the passage of commonsense legislation and triggered the across-the-board budget cuts that are better known as sequestration. And while in the weeks leading up to sequestration we heard almost daily from Federal agencies, defense contractors and members from both sides of the aisle about just how harmful these cuts would be, the deadline for intervention has come and gone. Yet, incredibly, much of the foc… Continue Reading


03.19.13

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

Today the Judiciary Committee welcomes two more of President Obama's nominees, and I thank Senator Blumenthal for chairing this important hearing. Gregory Phillips is nominated to a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and Karol Mason is nominated to lead the Office of Justice Programs at the Department of Justice. This is our fourth nominations hearing this year, and we continue to work to make progress in the consideration of the President's nominees. I expect that a… Continue Reading


03.19.13

Leahy, Lee Introduce Legislation To Update Electronic Communications Privacy Act

(TUESDAY, March 19, 2013) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday to strengthen the 27-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and better protect digital privacy rights. "No one could have imagined just how the Internet and mobile technologies would transform how we communicate and exchange information today," Leahy said of the original ECPA law, which he authored in 1986. "Privacy laws … Continue Reading


03.19.13

Leahy Announces $200,000 Grant To Target Domestic Violence Homicides In Rutland

RUTLAND, Vt. (THURSDAY, March 14, 2013) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that the City of Rutland will receive a $200,000 federal grant to combat domestic violence homicides - a crime category that accounts for more than half of all homicides in Vermont. The award comes just one week after Leahy's Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) was signed into law, renewing and strengthening its proven programs. Rutland is one of only 12 sites across the nation receiving t… Continue Reading


03.18.13

On Anniversary Of Historic SCOTUS Decision, Leahy Introduces Gideon’s Promise Act

On the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, which established the right to a lawyer for all criminal defendants, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation that would ensure fairness in the criminal justice system for all participants. The Gideon's Promise Act of 2013 takes important new steps to help realize the fundamental right to counsel articulated in Gideon. The legislation authored by Leahy, a former prosecutor,… Continue Reading


03.18.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Families And Comprehensive Immigration Reform

- The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing entitled, "How Comprehensive Immigration Reform Should Address the Needs of Women and Families." Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who presided over the committee's first immigration hearing this year, entered the following statement into the record on today's hearing. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. # # # # # Statement of Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) "How Compreh… Continue Reading


03.18.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Nomination Of Tom Perez To Be Secretary Of Labor

"Tom Perez will bring an impressive resume to the top spot at the Department of Labor. A former Secretary of Labor in Maryland, and a fierce defender of workers' rights and civil rights, Tom is uniquely suited to serve in this important post at a critical time when Congress will be considering issues like immigration reform, reducing unemployment, and continuing our economic recovery. He is a dedicated public servant, and since 2009, he has worked hard to restore the reputation of the Civil Ri… Continue Reading


03.15.13

Leahy Lauds Multiple Federal Economic Flood-Recovery Tools Being Deployed This Week In Bennington, Windham and Windsor Counties

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. - During a Friday afternoon visit to Brattleboro, Senator Patrick Leahy congratulated southern Vermont planning and development organizations on the deployment of two federal economic flood recovery initiatives he worked with Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative Peter Welch and Governor Peter Shumlin to secure. Leahy's visit coincided with Thursday's launch of the Southern Vermont Post-Irene Recovery Project and the first grant awards to Southern Vermont businesses impacted b… Continue Reading


03.15.13

Bill Introduced In House and Senate To Improve Veterans Groups Access To Surplus Federal Property

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Tom Carper (D-DE) and Congressman Dan Benishek (R-MI-01) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA-26) have introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would improve veterans groups' access to surplus personal property donated by the federal government. The General Services Administration (GSA) currently oversees the distribution of surplus property to eligible organizations, such as medical institutions, providers of … Continue Reading


03.14.13

Leahy And Senate Judiciary Committee Complete Work On Four Gun Violence Bills

Legislation aimed to curb gun violence caused by assault weapons was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today, the panel's fourth meeting in which legislation related to gun violence was considered. The Committee approved, by a vote of 10 to 8, legislation authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would ban the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of certain assault weapons. The bill also limits the magazine capacity of semiautomatic rifles and handguns. Feinstein's … Continue Reading


03.13.13

Leahy: Judiciary Committee Will Hold Two Hearings On Drones

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee, today announced two upcoming hearings on the issue of drones beginning with a full committee hearing next week. The hearing on Wednesday, March 20th is titled "The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations," and will focus on privacy concerns surrounding the domestic use of drones. That hearing will be chaired by Leahy, who announced… Continue Reading


03.13.13

Leahy Chairs Government Transparency Hearing Wednesday, During Sunshine Week

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a longtime advocate of open and transparent government, is chairing an oversight hearing this morning during Sunshine Week to examine FOIA compliance in federal agencies on the five-year anniversary of the OPEN Government Act being signed into law. The 2007 law authored by Leahy and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) produced the first major reforms to the Freedom of Information Act in more than a decade. Testimony, member statements, and a w… Continue Reading


03.12.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Arrest And Prosecution Of Sulaiman Abu Ghayth

Last week, the Obama administration announced that Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, had been brought to the United States to be prosecuted in an Article III Federal Court. I commend the work of our Nation's dedicated law enforcement and intelligence officials who helped bring him to justice. And I applaud the Obama administration for its decision to prosecute him in a Federal court. Our Nation is proud of our courts, and we Americans are not afraid to prosecute terrorists in… Continue Reading


03.12.13

Leahy: Judiciary Committee Tuesday Approves Two Bills On Gun Violence

- Today the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted two additional pieces of legislation aimed to curb gun violence during the committee's third executive business meeting devoted to the issue. Last week the panel adopted, in a bipartisan vote, legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to make illegal the abusive practice of straw purchasing and trafficking of firearms. On Tuesday the committee continued its progress by approving legislation authored by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to im… Continue Reading


03.11.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On S.54, the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke on the floor Monday night about the Judiciary Committee's progress on legislation related to gun violence, including last week reporting out the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act. Leahy, who is chairman of the committee, authored the measure that has the strong support of many law enforcement organizations with a bipartisan group of Senators. In his floor statement Monday, Leahy called on Senators to continue working together, as they did earlier this … Continue Reading


03.11.13

SJC Members Introduce Legislation To Restore Consumer Choice

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and a bipartisan group of Senators on Monday introduced legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers. "This straightforward restoring bill is about promoting consumer rights," Leahy said. "When consumers finish the terms of their contract, they should be able to keep their phones and make their own decision about which wireless provider to use." … Continue Reading


03.11.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nominations of Richard Taranto and Andrew Gordon

Last week, Senate Republicans were given an opportunity to end their partisan and wrongheaded filibuster of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit. Instead, they voted against the Federal judiciary, the administration of justice, and the needs of the American people. The Republican filibuster has lasted for over two years, in which Senate Republicans have refused to vote up or down on this highly qualified woman to fill a needed judgeship on the D.C. Circuit. No one can honestly question whethe… Continue Reading


03.08.13

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

"I applaud the decision to prosecute Sulaiman Abu Ghayth in an Article III Federal Court, and I commend the work of our Nation's dedicated law enforcement and intelligence officials who helped bring him to face justice. Our Nation is proud of our courts, and we Americans are not afraid to prosecute terrorists in them. Federal prosecutors have had tremendous success in convicting al Qaeda terrorists, and I believe that they will be successful in this case as well. In contrast, it is not clear w… Continue Reading


03.07.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On The Nomination Of John Brennan To Be The Director Of The CIA

"I have worked with John Brennan, and I respect his record, his experience, and his dedication to public service. But the administration has stonewalled me and the Judiciary Committee for too long on a reasonable request to review the legal justification for the use of drones in the targeted killing of American citizens. The administration made the relevant OLC memorandum available to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in order to advance this nomination. I expect the Judiciary Commi… Continue Reading

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