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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 Committee On The Judiciary, On The President’s Remarks Tuesday On Guantanamo Bay

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Tuesday after President Barack Obama reiterated his position that the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be closed - a view that Leahy has long shared.] "I remain deeply concerned that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay remains open, and that Congress continues to stand in the way of closing it. As the President again has acknowledged, it is unnecessary, expensive and ineff… Continue Reading


Leahy & Cornyn Introduce Legislation To Reauthorize Landmark Justice For All Act

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced legislation Thursday to reauthorize the Justice For All Act, a vital law that seeks to help ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly. The bipartisan measure, introduced during Crime Victims' Rights week and on DNA Day, builds on the 2004 law by improving support services for crime victims and providing support to help state and local governments use DNA evidence to convic… Continue Reading


Sen. Leahy On Committee Consideration Of Bipartisan Immigration Reform Legislation

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday discussed the Committee's upcoming schedule for considering the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. Leahy announced the first markup session on this bipartisan legislation will be on Thursday, May 9th, with amendments to the measure made publicly available ahead of time. The open and transparent process for considering this important measure comes after six Committee hearings… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Celebration of World IP Day

This Friday, April 26, is "World IP Day," when countries around the world celebrate the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity. It is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the authors, artists, and musicians who enrich our lives; the inventors whose work is transforming our digital economy; and creators around the world. Whether you are an inventor, a creative artist, or a small business owner protecting your brand, you deserve the benefit of your work. By prot… Continue Reading


SJC Approves Leahy-Lee Electronic Communications Privacy Amendments Act

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday favorably reported bipartisan legislation coauthored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to protect the privacy of emails, texts, social media posts and other electronic communications. Both Senators hailed the Committee's strong bipartisan support of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2013, which updates one of the Nation's most important digital privacy laws. "All Americans -- regardless of political… Continue Reading


Vermont Gains $40 million In Federal Tax Credits To Spur Privately Funded Economic Development Projects That Will Create Jobs In Communities With High Unemployment

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) Wednesday announced that Vermont Rural Ventures will receive $40 million in federal tax credits to spur economic development projects throughout the state. The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program was established by Congress in 2000 to spur investment of private capital in economic development projects in communities with high poverty and high unemployment. The program is administered by the U.S. Treasury Department. Un… Continue Reading


Senate Votes To Confirm Kelly To Eighth Circuit

The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the nomination of Jane Kelly to serve on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised the Senate's approval of this highly-qualified nominee, who was reported by the Judiciary Committee last month, and said other nominees should be taken up just as quickly. Leahy added that Kelly has "proven the exception to the practice of Republicans of holding up confirmations of circuit nominees for no good reason for months."… Continue Reading


Leahy Reports To Senate On Judiciary Committee’s Progress Toward Starting Markup On Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation

(Wednesday, April 24, 2013) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) made the following report to the Senate Wednesday on the panel's work on comprehensive immigration reform -- the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, the bipartisan bill that was the subject of three public hearings over the last week and which will soon be marked up in Committee. The Judiciary Committee this year has held six hearings on immigration reform, a… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Announce: St. Johnsbury Fire Department To Receive $475,000 To Replace Out-Of-Service Ladder Truck

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. - U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch this week told St. Johnsbury Fire Department Chief Troy Ruggles that his four-year quest to replace the department's 36-year-old ladder truck is complete. Leahy, Sanders and Welch announced Wednesday that a $475,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) will help the department replace its 1976 tower truck that was out of service last year on December 23rd when … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On “Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing”

Today, the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights holds an important hearing to explore the administration's use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or "drones," to target and kill suspected terrorists overseas. The subcommittee will examine the constitutional and statutory authority to use drones to conduct these targeted killings, as well as key questions regarding the scope of the battlefield, which individuals can be targeted, and the possibility of establishing a transpa… Continue Reading


DHS Secretary Napolitano Testifies Before SJC On Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation

The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 featuring the testimony of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who also testified before the panel in February on the need for comprehensive immigration reform. The Committee has this year held six hearings on the issue, with three of those hearings focused specifically on bipartisan legislation to reform the Nation's immigr… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Second Hearing On Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation

- The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. The hearing chaired by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) marks the Committee's fifth immigration-related hearing this year, and the second focused on bipartisan legislation to reform the Nation's broken immigration system. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. # # # # # Statement Of Senator Patrick… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation

(Friday, April 19, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing on bipartisan legislation to reform the Nation's immigration system. The hearing chaired by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) marks the Committee's fourth immigration-related hearing 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 "Comprehensive Immigration Reform … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Supreme Court Decision Limiting American Judicial Recourse For International Human Rights Violations

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following statement Thursday regarding a Supreme Court decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. A majority of the Court ruled that the Alien Tort Statute, a law enacted in 1789, does not apply to human rights violations committed in other countries. Specifically, the Court ruled that Nigerian citizens could not use American courts to sue a multinational oil company alleged to have aided the military dictatorship that… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee On the Nominations of Analisa Torres and Derrick Watson

Monday's confirmation of Judge Beverly O'Connell marked the 150th confirmation of a Federal trial court nomination by President Obama. Thanks to Senate Republicans' concerted effort to filibuster, obstruct and delay his moderate judicial nominees, it took almost one year longer to reach this milestone than it did when his Republican predecessor was serving as President, 10 months in fact. I have repeatedly asked Senate Republicans to abandon their destructive tactics. Their unwillingness to d… Continue Reading


Statement of Chairman Leahy Department of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Hearing FY 2014 Budget Request

I want to welcome our new members, Senators Shaheen, Begich, Johanns, and Boozman. This subcommittee may not be the most popular, and what we do may not get the most attention, but it is the counterpart to the Defense Appropriations subcommittee for how we project United States leadership and protect our interests around the world. I want to welcome Secretary of State Kerry who knows this budget backward and forward from his years as a member and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, and President Pro Tempore of the Senate) On Gun Violence Votes In The Senate

The Senate has cast aside the views of the vast majority of Americans who support commonsense steps to improve gun safety, and we can only imagine the sense of abandonment felt by the parents of Sandy Hook's children and by the many other victims of senseless gun violence. This has not been the Senate's finest hour. I have such great respect and appreciation for the Senate's special role in our system of government. I have seen the Senate rise up in courage and conviction and bipartisanship t… Continue Reading


SJC Begins Consideration Of Leahy-Authored Legislation To Update The Electronic Communications Privacy Act

- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday began consideration of bipartisan legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The Committee will continue considering the bipartisan measure cosponsored by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) next week. "Today we have the opportunity to move forward on a bipartisan proposal, consistent with the Fourth Amendment, to better protect the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, pape… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Should Support Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Gun Trafficking

- Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), author of the bipartisan Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act that would make illegal the abusive practice of straw purchasing and trafficking of firearms, said Wednesday that a Republican alternative to his proposal would do nothing to help law enforcement investigate and prosecute these crimes. The Judiciary Committee approved Leahy's measure, coauthored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), last month on a bipartisan vote and after the pan… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Vermont’s Priorities In Immigration Reform And The Proposals From The 'Gang Of Eight'

"Immigration reform is a national imperative, and it's also an opportunity to fix broken parts of the system that are especially important to Vermont. Vermont dairy farmers particularly have a big stake in Congress getting this right. "Vermonters will have a front-and-center seat as this comprehensive immigration reform bill is considered. In the Judiciary Committee we have had many hearings on immigration issues in recent years, and three so far this year. The next two hearings I have set,… Continue Reading

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