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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 On The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision

The same five justices who ruled that corporations should be treated as persons when it comes to campaign contributions have done it again. Now they have ruled that closely held corporations should be treated as individuals when it comes to denying their workers access to affordable contraception. To these justices, your boss's private views can trump your own medical needs and health insurance choices. This is a ruling that will most hurt women who work hourly jobs and who struggle just to m… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The White House Announcement Of Changes To U.S. Landmine Policy

[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore, and chairman of the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee) has long been the leading U.S. official in the movement to ban anti-personnel landmines. Leahy's earlier law banning U.S. export of mines was a catalyst leading to the international treaty to ban the use and production of anti-personnel landmines (Ottawa Treaty). Leahy has continued to meet with successive presidents (Clinton, Bush and Obama) to press for U.S. entry into… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore) On The Death Of Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker

"Senator Baker was one of the best leaders the Senate has ever had. We have lost a true statesman. "I've valued my friendship with him, and all that he taught me. Marcelle and I send our condolences and prayers to Nancy." # # # # #… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy’s Bipartisan Bill To Renew Soon-To-Expire Satellite TV Law

(THURSDAY, June 26, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved bipartisan legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, a law known as "STELA" that provides certain consumers access to distant broadcast television content by satellite. The bipartisan Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act approved by the Committee today would extend STELA for another five years and ensure that sate… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the One Year Anniversary of Senate Passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

One year ago tomorrow, the Senate came together to pass historic legislation to reform our broken immigration system. We did so with a strong bipartisan vote, and after weeks of exhaustive work. The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act would unite families, spur the economy, and help protect our borders. Above all else, this historic legislation would create an immigration system that is worthy of our American values. Today, our system does not reflect th… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decision In U.S. v. Wurie and Riley v. California

[The Supreme Court Wednesday issued its unanimous judgment in U.S. v. Wurie and Riley v. California. In its decision, the Court ruled that law enforcement agencies must obtain warrants to search an arrested individual's cell phone or personal electronic device.] "The Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Wurie and Riley v. California is a wake-up call that we need to update our laws to keep pace with technological advances. The Court rightly determined that the government must obtain a search w… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On The Voting Rights Amendment Act

(Wednesday, June 25, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing titled "The Voting Rights Amendment Act, S.1945: Updating the Voting Rights Act in Response to Shelby County v. Holder." Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is leading today's hearing, is the author of the bipartisan, bicameral legislation to strengthen the Voting Rights Act and combat voter discrimination in all states and jurisdictions. The hearing also coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Su… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Vermont Leading the Nation in Children’s Health

I am pleased, although not surprised, with the latest news that Vermont's children rank as the healthiest. Recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Vermont ranks at the top or near the top of the list on a variety of metrics, including a child's access to health care, and percentage of children who exercise regularly. We all know that healthy habits begin in childhood, and Vermont has worked for years to ensure that all Vermont children have access to h… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Confirmation Of Geoffrey Crawford To The U.S. District Court In Vermont

[Leahy, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, steered the nomination through the committee and through the Senate, which confirmed Crawford this afternoon in a vote of 95 to 0. Through Leahy's efforts he was confirmed in less time than any judicial nominee in years. Leahy, who also is President Pro Tempore of the Senate, presided over the Senate for the vote and announced the outcome. He spoke with Justice Crawford immediately after the vote.] "Justice Crawford came highly recommended, well qu… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces New FOIA Reforms

(Tuesday, June 24, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), long Congress's leading advocate on government openness and transparency, Tuesday introduced bipartisan legislation to make improvements to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The bill introduction comes as the nation's premier open government law nears the celebration of its 48th anniversary on July Fourth. Leahy has led several successful efforts to strengthen FOIA during his Senate tenure and in 1996 w… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On The Introduction Of The DISCLOSE Act 2014

Today, I join with several Democratic Senators to reintroduce the DISCLOSE Act, renewing - for the third time - our fight to curtail some of the worst abuses resulting from the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United. Republicans mounted filibusters of this commonsense bill when it was first introduced in 2010 and then again when it was reintroduced in 2012. This was the case even though Republicans claim to support disclosure. Earlier this month, I chaired a hearing on a proposed constit… Continue Reading


Leahy, Other Senate Democrats Introduce Bill To Crack Down On Secret Spending In Elections

Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Crack Down on Secret Spending in Elections DISCLOSE Act of 2014 will Help Correct Flood of Secret Money Created by Citizens United Decision Washington, D.C. - With the Koch Brothers and many others spending untold millions to secretly influence this year's elections, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senate Democrats today introduced the DISCLOSE Act of 2014. The bill would crack down on so-called "dark money" by requiring organizations that spend… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Witnesses, Details For July 1 U.S. Senate Field Hearing In Vermont On Open Internet Rules

(TUESDAY, June 24, 2014) -- Senator Patrick Leahy Tuesday officially announced that the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, will hold a field hearing in Vermont on "Preserving an Open Internet: Rules to Promote Competition and Protect Main Street Consumers." The hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 1, at 10 a.m. at the Davis Center on the campus of the University of Vermont, in Burlington, Vt. Leahy also announced a panel of four witnesses who will testify at the hea… Continue Reading



Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, yesterday in Maputo, Mozambique, representatives of many of the 161 countries that have joined the treaty banning the production, stockpiling, export and use of anti-personnel landmines convened the third review conference in the 15 years since the treaty came into force. The impact of that treaty, once ridiculed as a naïve dream by many in the U.S. defense establishment, has been extraordinary. The vast majority of landmine use and production has stopped, new… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee, On Aid To Egypt

"The Congress has an important role in the provision of U.S. aid to foreign governments, and we consult regularly with the Administration. Withholding military aid to the Egyptian regime has let its leaders know that repressive actions and abuses of human rights and the rule of law are deeply concerning to the American people, and to many in Congress. The harsh actions taken today against journalists is the latest descent toward despotism. Through discussions with Secretary Kerry and others o… Continue Reading


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

The judges that fill the two Federal district courts seats in my home state have an extraordinary impact on the lives of Vermonters. So when I learned that my friend Judge William Sessions was to take senior status after 18 years of distinguished service on the Vermont district court, I took seriously my responsibility to act swiftly to identify a candidate to recommend to President Obama for nomination. I worked with Senator Sanders, Representative Welch, and the Vermont Bar Association to con… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee To Take Up Cellphone Unlocking Bill This Week

(Monday, June 23, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced on Monday an agreement on bipartisan legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers. The legislation will be listed on the Judiciary Committee's agenda for this week's executive business meeting. Leahy, Grassley and a bipartisan group of cosponsors introduced the Unlocking Co… Continue Reading


Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Retirement Of Colonel Michael Colburn

Next month, Colonel Michael Colburn, the Director of the U.S. Marine Band, will retire after nearly 30 years with this history-rich and venerated organization. A native Vermonter, Colonel Colburn's appreciation for the band known worldwide as "The President's Own" began decades ago when the then 12-year-old euphonium-playing St. Alban's native met a principal in the band while at summer band camp in Vermont. In 1987, Col. Colburn joined The President's Own as a euphonium player, and ultimat… Continue Reading


Cloture Filed On Vermont U.S. Court Nominee, Setting Up Likely Senate Confirmation Vote Next Week

(FRIDAY, June 20, 2014) -- Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Thursday night filed a cloture petition on a judicial nomination to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court in Vermont, setting up a likely confirmation vote next week. President Obama on May 20 nominated Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford to the U.S. District Court in Vermont, to fill the vacancy created when Judge William Sessions took senior status on the court last weekend. Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary… Continue Reading


Leahy & Bipartisan Group Presses For Votes On Permanent INTERNET ACCESS TAX MORATORIUM –

BIPARTISAN GROUP PRESSES FOR FLOOR ACTION ON PERMANENT INTERNET ACCESS TAX MORATORIUM BILL WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Co-Chairs of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Internet Caucus are urging House and Senate Leadership to pass bipartisan legislation before the August recess to permanently eliminate new state and local taxes on Internet access. In a letter from Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), as well as Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), the member… Continue Reading

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