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


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


SJC Chairman Leahy Statement On Committee Consideration Of Legislation To Combat Abuse In The Patent System

(Thursday, March 13, 2014) - Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following statement Thursday regarding the Committee's upcoming consideration of legislation to combat abuses in the patent system. Leahy is the author of the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill to protect businesses and innovators who are being improperly targeted by patent trolls. He chaired a hearing on the issue in December and led a series of staff briefings in … Continue Reading



We are here to discuss President Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 budget for the Department of State and foreign operations. Mr. Secretary, welcome. I want to say how impressed I am by the way you have embraced what can only be described as one of the most challenging jobs in the world. It is hard to imagine anyone more qualified for it, and we are very fortunate to have you there. I also want to recognize our committee chairwoman, Senator Mikulski, who has long been an active member and strong sup… Continue Reading


Leahy To Hold Hearing On Satellite Television This Month, On Cable Merger In April

(Wednesday, March 12, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing this month on the upcoming reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA). The legislation allows cable and satellite companies to retransmit broadcast television signals and content to their customers under a statutory license, important elements of which expire this year. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said it is critical the Committee begin discussing reauthorization so that the l… Continue Reading


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

The last two days, we have spent unnecessary floor time overcoming procedural obstacles so that we can vote to confirm the five judicial nominations before us today. Every single one of the nominees that we will vote on today has bipartisan support and will be confirmed by significant margins. Judge Carolyn McHugh was nominated last May, while all four nominees to the Eastern District of Michigan were nominated last July. All of these nominees could and should have been confirmed before we ad… Continue Reading



Today the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing to consider President Obama's nominee to be Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Leon Rodriguez. This office within the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for administering and processing asylum and refugee applications, immigration benefits, and naturalization and visa petitions, including the EB-5 Regional Center Program. This office must have a qualified director at the helm. Since … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission’s Completion Of Candidate Screening For Vermont’s Upcoming Federal Judicial Vacancy

[(WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014) -- The U.S. District Court in Vermont is at full strength with two active judges currently serving, but Judge William Sessions' decision to take senior status will soon create a vacancy. The nine-member, nonpartisan Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission consists of three commissioners named by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), three by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and three by the Vermont Bar Association. The merit commission continues a tradition that the late Se… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On CIA Interference with Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Investigation

I commend Chairman Feinstein for speaking so forcefully in defense of the indispensable role that Congress plays under our Constitution in overseeing the executive branch, and in particular the intelligence community. Chairman Feinstein described a troubling pattern of interference and intimidation by the CIA that raises serious questions about possible violations of the Constitution and our criminal laws. This only compounds the grave concerns I have had for years about the underlying conduct… Continue Reading


Ahead Of Sunshine Week, Leahy Chairs Annual SJC Government Transparency Hearing

(Tuesday, March 11, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a longtime advocate of open and transparent government, is chairing an oversight hearing this morning ahead of Sunshine Week to examine FOIA compliance in federal agencies. Leahy is the coauthor of the bipartisan OPEN Government Act, which was enacted in 2007 and ushered in the first major reforms to the Freedom of Information Act in more than a decade. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the heari… Continue Reading


Floor Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) #Up4Climate Senate Floor

Nearly 30 years ago, I joined a good friend, the late Hub Vogelmann, a Republican congressman, a Democratic governor, and President Reagan's EPA Administrator, on a hike to the summit of Vermont's iconic peak, Camel's Hump. We had a goal in mind: to observe first-hand the effects of acid raid. When we arrived at the summit, we saw the evidence we feared: a scar burned across the peaks of the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks, visible to the West. Due to human action, weather patterns had ch… Continue Reading


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

In the last few weeks, we have wasted precious floor time and energy to overcome filibusters on several judicial nominations. The Majority Leader was forced to file cloture on judicial nominees in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Puerto Rico, and Tennessee. This was the case, even though every single one of those nominations had the support of home state Senators -whether Democrat or Republican. In fact, seven of the eight judges confirmed in the last two weeks after filibusters were defeat… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, on the One-Year Anniversary of the Enactment of the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Act

One year ago today, victims of violence, members of law enforcement and those committed to working against domestic and sexual violence celebrated the signing of the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. It was an enormous accomplishment for a divided Congress, which came together to pass meaningful and historic legislation that protects all victims. Today, we honor those victims and survivors by renewing our commitment… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Witnesses For March 17 U.S. Senate Field Hearing In Rutland On Vermont’s Battle Against Heroin And Opioid Addiction

Senator Patrick Leahy on Friday announced the witnesses who will testify at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's field hearing, in Rutland on March 17, on "Community Solutions To Breaking The Cycle Of Heroin And Opioid Addiction." Leahy, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, released this list of witnesses for the rare field hearing: Tristram Coffin, U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont; Chief James Baker of the Rutland City Police Department; Dr. Harry Chen, Commissioner of the Vermont Dep… Continue Reading

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