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


Leahy: The Senate Must Clear The Nominations Backlog

(Wednesday, December 12, 2012) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today heard testimony from four nominees to fill vacancies on federal district courts, continuing the progress the Committee has made to vet and report judicial nominees to the Senate for consideration. In a statement for the record at Wednesday's hearing, Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) observed that the Senate remains far behind the pace set in earlier administrations in confirming judicial nominees, particularly those … Continue Reading


Leahy: The Senate Must Consider All Pending Judicial Nominees

The Senate late Tuesday confirmed two long-pending district court nominees, while 13 additional district court nominees and four circuit court nominees await action before the end of the year. In a statement for the Congressional Record, Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the Senate must clear this needless backlog before the end of the year. "Both of these nominees were voted out of the Judiciary Committee by voice vote before the August recess and should have bee… Continue Reading


Southern Vermont receives $470,000 to bolster long-term recovery efforts following Irene

(Tuesday, December 11, 2012) - The Windham Regional Commission and the Bennington County Regional Commission will receive $470,000 in Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds to bolster long-term recovery efforts in southern Vermont following Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont's congressional delegation announced today. The funds will be used by the regional planning commissions to expand the capacity of public officials and economic development organizations to work with businesses and encou… Continue Reading


Leahy: SJC Will Hold Hearing On The State Of The Right To Vote After The 2012 Election

(MONDAY, December 10, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday that the Committee will hold a hearing to examine Americans' access to the voting booth and the continuing need for protections against efforts to limit or suppress voting. At the December 19 hearing, the Committee will look at how the barriers to voting explored in previous hearings held by Leahy and by Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) affected the right to vote in… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision To Consider Challenge To The Defense Of Marriage Act

[The Supreme Court announced Friday it will review two court cases on same-sex marriage this year, including one, Windsor v. United States, challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is a leading cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA, and he chaired the first-ever congressional hearing examining the effects of DOMA on American families. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he led the panel's cons… Continue Reading


Twenty Judicial Nominees Still Awaiting Senate Action

(Thursday, December 6, 2012) -The Senate voted on Thursday to confirm two long-pending judicial nominees, each of whom won convincing bipartisan support on the floor. While Mark Walker and Terrence Berg waited six months and five months, respectively, for floor votes, 20 others remain pending, the victims of general GOP obstruction. In a statement for the Congressional Record, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke out against the groundless obstruction of consensus nominees, … Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Welcomes ‘Constructive’ New House GOP Proposal On Tribal Violence As He Pushes For Final Action On VAWA

(Thursday, December 6, 2012) - Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), lead author of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, Thursday highlighted a key provision in the measure that would allow tribal courts limited jurisdiction to consider domestic violence offenses committed against Indian women on tribal lands by non-Indian. This piece of the widely supported Leahy-Crapo measure was included to ensure that VAWA covers all victims in this country, and especially th… Continue Reading


Senate Republicans Setting Dangerous New Precedent For Nominations In Lame Duck Session

The Senate voted on Wednesday to confirm Michael Shea, a district court nominee from Connecticut who has been waiting on the Senate calendar since April. Seventeen additional circuit and district court nominees are still pending on the calendar, and despite broad bipartisan support for most, Republicans continue to break Senate tradition and obstruct. "Senate Republicans are establishing another harmful precedent by refusing to proceed on judicial nominees with bipartisan support before the en… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On False Claims Act Settlements In 2012

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) commented Wednesday on news that the Department of Justice has recovered a record $5 billion in settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act cases, particularly in cases involving mortgages and health care. Senator Leahy has authored legislation to combat health care fraud and is the author of the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act, a law strengthens tools and increase resources available to federal prosecutors to find, prosecute and jail t… Continue Reading


House Approves Leahy-Grassley Legislation To Implement Patent Law Treaties To Help U.S. Businesses Overseas

(Wednesday, December 5, 2012) - The House of Representatives Wednesday passed legislation authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to implement two patent law treaties that will help American businesses expand into foreign markets, sending the bill to the White House for signature. The Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 implements two treaties that will help American businesses expand into foreign markets by re… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Legislation To Encourage The Humanitarian Work Of American Innovators

(Tuesday, December 4, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Committee member Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced legislation today that encourages and rewards the use of patented technology to address humanitarian needs. The bill, which builds on an existing program at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, seeks to reward patent holders who use their technology to improve the health and quality of life in impoverished nations by granting those business… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Nomination of Judge Paul William Grimm to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland

(Tuesday, December 4, 2012) - The Senate voted on Monday night to confirm Paul William Grimm, a district court nominee who waited nearly six months to be considered and was easily confirmed with a vote of 92-1. With just a few short weeks before the end of the year and 18 more judicial nominees still pending, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a statement for the Congressional Record that Senate Republicans must stop their delay tactics and follow Senate tradition by appr… Continue Reading


Leahy: General Electric of Rutland Gains $23 Million Navy Contract For Development Of Super Hornet Fighter Engines

(TUESDAY, December 4) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that General Electric Aviation of Rutland is gaining a new U.S. Navy contract for $23,699,511 for the development and construction of fighter engines for F/A-18E/F aircraft. The contract, which is being apportioned among several regional GE plants, totals more than $197 million to build 52 engines. GE Rutland receives 12 percent of the total award. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Defense… Continue Reading


Leahy Hails Senate Action On Law Enforcement Amendment

(Tuesday, December 4, 2012) -An amendment sponsored by Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to make improvements to the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) was added to the defense authorization bill Monday night, improving its chances of becoming law this year. The Webb-Leahy amendment would allow Department of Defense law enforcement officers to meet the criteria necessary to be eligible for coverage under LEOSA, the 2004 law that per… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Consideration Of The United Nations Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities

Mr. President. The Senate today is considering the ratification of an important treaty that will further strengthen the United States' longstanding role as a beacon of human rights around the world. I support ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and hope that this treaty, which enjoys bipartisan support, will be approved by the Senate today. I have long been a strong supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has… Continue Reading


Leahy Highlights Need To Enact Faster FOIA Act

(Tuesday, December 4, 2012) - Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a congressional leader in open government issues and a coauthor of the bipartisan Faster FOIA Act, called on the Obama administration to make transparency a top priority in its second term after a report released by the National Security Archive today found a majority of government agencies have not updated their Freedom of Information Act regulations despite requirements to do so under the OPEN Government … Continue Reading


Detention Policy And The Defense Bill: Statement Of Senator Leahy On Feinstein Amendment SA 3018 to S.3254, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was enacted into law last December contained several deeply troubling provisions related to the indefinite detention of individuals without charge or trial. These provisions undermine our Nation's fundamental principles of due process and civil liberties. I strongly opposed these provisions during last year's debate, and believe that we must eliminate and fix those flawed provisions. Toward that end, I voted last night in favor of the amendme… Continue Reading


SJC Chairman Leahy Calls For Consideration Of Judicial Nominees In Lameduck

(Friday, November 30, 2012) - Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), in a Congressional Record statement published Friday, highlighted the list of judicial nominees who have been pending on the Senate calendar as far back as March. While those nominees continue to wait, the number of judicial vacancies nationwide hovers at 80. Leahy called on Republicans to drop unfounded opposition and follow the precedent of previous lameduck sessions after presidential elections, when the Senate… Continue Reading


Leahy: Victims Have Waited Too Long, House Republicans Must Pass Senate VAWA Bill Now

[This Friday marks the one-year anniversary since Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced with Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. The Leahy-Crapo VAWA bill has broad bipartisan backing and was recently the subject of a supportive New York Times editorial- the latest of many -- urging completion of congressional action on the bill in this lame-duck session. With only a few weeks left in the year, Senator Leahy submitted a st… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Authored Legislation To Update Video Privacy Protection Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act

(Thursday, November 29, 2012) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that updates the Video Privacy Protection Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, two of the nation's premier digital privacy laws. The bill updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, first enacted in 1986, so that Americans will have added privacy safeguards for their email and other electronic communications. The issue of em… Continue Reading

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