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Press Releases

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

06.25.10

DHS Lays Out Steps To Assess Port Closure Decision

TO THE RIGHT is a letter Senator Patrick Leahy has received from DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, laying out the steps ahead in assessing the DHS decision to close the Morses Line Point Of Entry. The process includes consultation with the community and a public comment period. Leahy said the process will be "an opportunity for the community to come together and work with DHS" to identify a workable solution. He has asked DHS to listen to and carefully consider the community's wishes and sugges… Continue Reading


06.25.10

Leahy Authored Anti-Fraud Amendment Included In Wall Street Reform Conference

A conference committee of the Senate and House of Representatives has included an amendment authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to increase the tools available to law enforcement to root out and prosecute financial and securities fraud in the final legislative package that will bring the first major reforms to Wall Street in years. The amendment will also strengthen protections for whistleblowers who help expose financial fraud. Leahy was a member of the Conference Committee. "In recent… Continue Reading


06.24.10

The Leahy Letter - June 24, 2010

Wall Street Reform Bill Nears The Finish Line - Negotiations Are Continuing Into The Night Today is the last scheduled day of the House-Senate conference on the Wall Street reform bill. As one of the 12 Senate conferees, Senator Leahy used Vermont's seat at the table to increase transparency, tougher criminal penalties for Wall Street fraud, and curb abuses such as unfettered derivatives. Cleaning up Wall Street abuses will help build confidence in the economy and continue the progress toward… Continue Reading


06.24.10

Leahy Responds To Republican Requests For More Kagan Documents From Archives

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) responded to a letter sent earlier this week by Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), requesting further documents from the Clinton Library in connection with the nomination of the Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The National Archives and Clinton Library have produced 170,000 pages of documents related to Elena Kagan's work in the Clinton administration. Only a small number of docum… Continue Reading


06.24.10

Comment On The Grand Opening Of The Upper Valley Haven’s Adult Shelter

[In February, Sen. Patrick Leahy toured the White River Junction construction site of the Upper Valley Haven's new shelter for homeless adults and announced a $200,000 federal appropriation for the facility. The Upper Valley Haven celebrated the grand opening of the facility on Thursday evening. Leahy was in Washington Thursday afternoon, where he is working on finalizing the Wall Street Reform bill as a member of the conference committee negotiating the final bill, and preparing for next wee… Continue Reading


06.24.10

Leahy Joins Letter Urging Transocean To Delay $1 Billion In Dividends Before Paying Its Bill For Gulf Oil Spill

Determined not to leave taxpayers, Gulf Coast businesses, communities and wildlife paying the bill for the devastation caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion and uncontrolled release of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) many of his colleagues in a letter, spearheaded by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), to Steven Newman, Chief Executive Officer of Transocean, Ltd., asking the company to postpone a planned dividend distribution until Transocean's liability in the nation's wo… Continue Reading


06.24.10

Senators Kerry, Brown To Introduce Elena Kagan At Confirmation Hearing

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that Massachusetts Senators John Kerry (D) and Scott Brown (R) will introduce Solicitor General Elena Kagan at the confirmation hearing to consider her nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. The hearing will begin Monday, June 28. In the coming days, Committee is expected to announce a list of additional witnesses who will appear before the Committee following Solicitor General Kagan's testimony next we… Continue Reading


06.24.10

Comment On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Skilling v. United States

[The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday issued a ruling in Skilling v. United States that vacated the conviction of former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling. The Court also issued decisions vacating the convictions of two other fraud and corruption defendants. The Court dramatically limited the honest services fraud statute used to secure his conviction by holding that it only applies to cases involving bribery or kickbacks and not other important types of economic or intangible harm. Judiciary Commi… Continue Reading


06.24.10

Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Authored Bill To Hold Big Oil Accountable For Environmental Crimes

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to hold oil and other companies responsible for environmental crimes accountable. The Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act (ECEA) would strengthen penalties against companies who violate the Clean Water Act while also mandating restitution for victims of environmental crime. Leahy introduced the legislation on June 9. "It has been almost two months since the collapse of British Petroleum's D… Continue Reading


06.23.10

Comment On The President’s Decision To Replace General Stanley McChrystal With General David Petraeus As Top U.S. Commander In Afghanistan

In his role as Commander In Chief, the President must have confidence in the commanders who are implementing U.S. military plans and policy. In allowing conduct of this kind by those serving around him, General McChrystal has lost this vital bond with the President. The President also did the right thing by appointing General Petraeus to replace him. # # # # #… Continue Reading


06.23.10

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Oversight Of The IP Enforcement Coordinator

The Senate Judiciary Committee today holds the first oversight hearing with the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC). Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was a lead author of the 2008 Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act, which established the office of the IPEC in the Executive Office of the President. The Coordinator chairs an inter-agency committee, and was tasked with producing a joint strategic plan to combat piracy and counte… Continue Reading


06.23.10

Led By Leahy And DeFazio, 56 Members Of House And Senate Ask USDA To Keep Rules On Genetically Engineered Alfalfa

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), joined by 49 other representatives and five other senators, are asking U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to retain the regulated status of genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa. Their letter comes in response to a USDA Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) finding "no significant impact" from the use of genetically modified versions of the crop. Leahy and DeFazio co-authored legislation to create the national or… Continue Reading


06.22.10

Senate Confirms 16 Judiciary Committee Reported Nominations

The Senate Tuesday morning unanimously confirmed 16 executive nominations reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee, including one nomination which has been pending on the Senate's executive calendar since November. Each nomination was reported by the Committee with no objections. "I hope the Senate's progress this morning in confirming nominations is a sign that we will be able to break through the logjam that has prevented confirmation votes on nearly two dozen judicial nominations pending … Continue Reading


06.22.10

Comment On The Joint Strategic Plan On Intellectual Property Enforcement

"I applaud Victoria Espinel, Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, for her work on the first Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. The plan highlights the importance of effective and efficient enforcement of American intellectual property rights, which in turn protects American jobs and promotes economic growth. I look forward to discussing the plan with Ms. Espinel at the Judiciary Committee's oversight hearing tomorrow." Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was a lead… Continue Reading


06.22.10

Leahy, Sessions Introduce Bill To Prevent Foreign Defamation Judgments

The top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee today introduced legislation to shield American authors, journalists and publishers from foreign libel lawsuits that would otherwise curb writers' First Amendment rights. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) introduced the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act Tuesday morning. The SPEECH Act will protect authors, journalists, and publishers from foreign … Continue Reading


06.21.10

Statement On The Nomination Of Elena Kagan To The Supreme Court

As I announced last month, the confirmation hearing on the President's nomination of Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court will begin next Monday. On Monday, I will give each Senator who is a member of the Committee an opportunity to deliver an opening statement. After the nominee is presented to the Committee, she will proceed with her opening statement. On Tuesday morning we will ask questions of the nominee. I hope that we will conclude the hearing by the end of the … Continue Reading


06.21.10

Comment On Supreme Court Decision In Rent-A-Center v. Jackson

The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in Rent-A-Center v. Jackson that upholds the power of arbitration agreements to remove even threshold questions of validity from review by a court. In a 5-4 decision, the majority reversed the Ninth Circuit and held that courts do not retain the authority to hear claims that an arbitration agreement is unconscionable if the agreement delegates that determination to the arbitrator. Today, five members of the Supreme Court struck a blow to our nation's civ… Continue Reading


06.21.10

Comment On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Monsanto v. Geerston Seed Farms

The Supreme Court today issued a decision in Monsanto v. Geerston Seed Farms. In its first ruling on genetically modified crops, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit's decision upholding a district court injunction and removed a temporary ban on planting a breed of pesticide-resistant alfalfa. The genetically modified crop was approved for use by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) after it determined that a formal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was not necessary. The district cou… Continue Reading


06.21.10

Kagan Hearing To Begin At 12:30 P.M. Monday, June 28

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced that the confirmation hearing for the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, June 28. The hearing will be held in room 216 Hart Senate Office Building. The hearings will webcast live online. Members of the press must reserve seating through the press galleries. Media guidelines are available online. Information for how membe… Continue Reading


06.19.10

Comment On Department Of Defense Documents Related To Military Recruitment At Harvard University And Harvard Law School From 1997-2009

"The materials produced by the Department of Defense provide further documentation that military recruiters were never barred from the campus of Harvard Law School, neither before Elena Kagan became Dean, nor during her tenure. These documents verify that after a federal circuit court had ruled the Solomon Amendment unenforceable, then-Dean Kagan responsibly implemented the same alternative means of access for military recruitment that had been used successfully for years under her predecessor,… Continue Reading

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