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

03.08.11

Leahy: Now Is The Time To Act On Patent Reform

The Senate continues debate today on the America Invents Act, legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to make the first significant reforms to the nation's patent system in nearly 60 years. The Senate Monday night voted overwhelmingly to move to conclude debate on the legislation. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The America Invents Act March 8, 2011 American ingenuity and innovation have been a cornerstone of the American… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Senate Moves Closer To Final Vote On Patent Reform Bill

(Monday, March 7, 2011) - The Senate Monday night moved closer to a final vote on pending legislation to make the first major reforms to the nation's patent system in nearly six decades. The chamber voted overwhelmingly (87-3) to bring debate to a close on the America Invents Act, sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The Senate has been considering the long-pending legislation since February 28. Patent reform legislation was first proposed in Congress in 2005. Among the key provisions … Continue Reading


03.07.11

Senate Confirms Three District Court Judges

(Monday, Mar. 7, 2011) - The Senate Monday night unanimously confirmed three pending judicial nominees to fill vacancies on district courts in California and Illinois. The nominees confirmed were Anthony Battaglia to the District of Southern California; and Sue Myerscough and James Shadid to fill judicial emergency vacancies in the Central District of Illinois. The nominees received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee in December 2010, but the Senate did not take final action… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Obama Administration’s Executive Orders Related To Guantanamo Bay And Detainees

"The American justice system is the envy of the world, but the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has done immeasurable damage to that system. Today's announcement has done little to change that. The process outlined in the Executive Order falls far short of core constitutional values by failing to provide judicial review of cases considered by the review board or guaranteeing meaningful assistance of counsel. I am also concerned that these orders do little to bring us closer to closing the… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Skinner v. Switzer

The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in Skinner v. Switzer holding that an individual seeking testing of DNA gathered at a crime scene may pursue that claim in a Federal civil rights lawsuit. "I am pleased that the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, chose to expand, rather than limit, the opportunity to access testing of DNA evidence. Today's ruling that the federal courts may hear, under civil rights law, a claim by a state prison inmate… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Leahy To Chair Sunshine Week Hearing On FOIA

(Monday, March 7, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has scheduled an oversight hearing on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which will be held during Sunshine Week 2011. The hearing is entitled, "The Freedom of Information Act: Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in the Digital Age." The seventh annual Sunshine Week will be celebrated the week of March 14. It is a national observance of the importance of an open and transparent government, and participants i… Continue Reading


03.07.11

The America Invents Act Will Address Patent Backlog, Improve Patent Quality

(Monday, March 7, 2011) - The Obama administration today released a white board presentation by Austan Goolsbee, the Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, touting the need for patent reform to help American inventors and innovators. The America Invents Act, sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), will make the first comprehensive reforms to the nation's patent system in nearly 60 years. "Chairman Goolsbee's white board presentation highlights the very things the America… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Field Hearing On The Vermont Brand Postponed Due To Inclement Weather

(MONDAY, March 7) -- Due to inclement weather, today's field hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to be chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy, has been postponed. The hearing, entitled "Strategies to Protect and Promote Vermont Brands", was originally scheduled to be held at the Ross Gymnasium at St. Micheal's College. # # # # #… Continue Reading


03.04.11

Leahy: New Vermont Passport Office Will Aid Vermonters’ Travel, Facilitate Vermont Commerce And Cement Vermont’s Bonds To Canada

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (FRIDAY, March 4) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday joined senior U.S. State Department officials and other dignitaries to officially open the new Vermont Passport Agency office in St. Albans. The new office is in the old Post Office Building on South Main Street. The renovation of the 6,650 square-foot facility was funded with $2.3 million of the $15 million for new Passport Agencies that Leahy included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - the econo… Continue Reading


03.04.11

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Delayed Implementation Of The REAL ID Act

"I appreciate Secretary Napolitano's intention to delay implementation of the Real ID Act until at least January 2013. I have made no secret of my disagreement with this policy, which was rushed through Congress with little debate or consideration. This law has saddled the states with enormous costs and burdened citizens with the prospect of what effectively would be a national identification card. "When so many states are struggling with extremely difficult budget choices, the last thing th… Continue Reading


03.03.11

Leahy, On Vermont’s Long History Of Innovation And Invention

(Thursday, March 3, 2011) - The U.S. Senate is debating legislation authored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy to update the nation's patent system. It has been nearly 60 years since the last comprehensive reforms were made the patent system. The America Invents Act was introduced by Leahy on January 25, and is the culmination of nearly six years of debate. Vermont receives more patents per capita than any other state in the nation. The first U.S. patent issued was awarded to Vermonter Samuel… Continue Reading


03.03.11

Leahy: First-Inventor-To-File Transition Support In Every Corner Of Patent Community

For more information about first-inventor-to-file, click here. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, The America Invents Act March 3, 2011 The America Invents Act will promote innovation, which in turn creates new businesses and as a result, new jobs. This is bipartisan legislation that will allow inventors to secure their patents more quickly, and have better success commercializing them. The pending amendment would eliminate a major piece of t… Continue Reading


03.02.11

Opening Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Department Of State And Foreign Operations Subcommittee Hearing On FY 2012 State Department Budget

Welcome, Madam Secretary. Each member seated to my left is new to this subcommittee, so I want to take this opportunity to publicly welcome them as well. I particularly want to thank Senator Lindsey Graham for accepting the role of ranking member. Senator Graham has brought important expertise to the Judiciary Committee, and I have no doubt he will do the same here. Not only does he have unique knowledge as a former Judge Advocate General, he is someone who works across party lines, which i… Continue Reading


03.02.11

Leahy: First-To-File System Will Add Simplicity And Objectivity To U.S. Patent System

(Wednesday, March 2, 2011) - The U.S. Senate today continues debate on S. 23, the America Invents Act. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) opened today's debate on the long-pending patent reform legislation, speaking about the importance of transition to a first-inventor-to-file system. "The transition to a first-inventor-to-file system will benefit the patent community in several ways," said Leahy. "It will simplify the patent application system and provide increased c… Continue Reading


03.01.11

The Leahy Letter -- March 2, 2011

Senator Leahy: Cut Tax Breaks For Oil Giants...Not Heating Aid For Struggling Households Senator Leahy, joined by Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch, speaks out against the proposed cuts to heating aid for low-income households. On February 14, Senator Leahy joined Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch at the Champlain Senior Center in Burlington to discuss the significance of proposed funding cuts to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The Congress… Continue Reading


03.01.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc.

"The American people have good reason to cheer today's unanimous decision by the Supreme Court in Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc., concluding that corporations do not have a right of personal privacy under the Freedom of Information Act. Openness, transparency and accountability are American values, and this decision underscores their importance to our system of government. I am also pleased that, in reaching this decision, our highest court honored congressional intent abou… Continue Reading


03.01.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On S. 23, The America Invents Act

As Prepared for Delivery Yesterday the Senate began debate on The America Invents Act. We adopted the Committee amendments and proceeded to have five additional amendments offered to the bill. This morning I will be offering a managers' amendment along with Senator Grassley that incorporates additional improvements being made at the suggestion of Senator Coburn, Senator Coons, Senator Bennet and our House counterparts, Chairman Smith and Mr. Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee. When we … Continue Reading


02.28.11

Senate Unanimously Confirms Two Judicial Nominees

(Monday, Feb. 28, 2011) - The Senate Monday night unanimously confirmed two long-pending nominations to fill judicial emergencies in the Northern District of Georgia. Amy Totenberg and Steve Jones were first nominated in 2010 to fill seats on the federal district court in the Northern District of Georgia, and both nominations were reported to the full Senate unanimously in December 2010 by the Judiciary Committee, but the Senate failed to take action before for the 111th Congress concluded. P… Continue Reading


02.28.11

Leahy Opens U.S. Senate Debate On Patent Reform Legislation

(Monday, Feb. 28, 2011) - The Senate Monday afternoon began debate on long-pending legislation to make the first comprehensive reforms to the nation's patent system in nearly six decades. The legislation is authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Leahy first introduced bipartisan patent reform legislation in 2006, and as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he has pressed the Senate to take up the legislation. "The Patent Reform Act is a key part of any jobs agenda," said Leahy. "W… Continue Reading


02.28.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Debate Of The Patent Reform Act, S.23

The Senate is today turning its attention to a measure that will help create jobs, energize the economy and promote innovation. The Patent Reform Act, which has also come to be called the America Invents Act, is a key part of any jobs agenda. We can help unleash innovation and promote American invention, all without adding a penny to the deficit. This is commonsense, bipartisan legislation. During the next few days, the Senate can come together to pass this needed legislation, and do so in a… Continue Reading

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