Press Room

Press Releases

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

05.28.10

Comment On Proposed Rescission Of Final Rule On The Certification Process For State Capital Counsel Systems

On May 25, the Department of Justice announced that it has proposed rescinding regulations implementing a provision giving the Attorney General, rather than the courts, decision-making authority over whether states can successfully "opt in" to a compressed habeas process in death penalties. The regulations, which were finalized in December 2008 under Attorney General Mukasey, gave the Attorney General almost unfettered discretion to allow states to opt in, whereas courts had previously demanded… Continue Reading


05.28.10

President Signs Leahy-Authored Reauthorization Of Satellite TV Licenses

President Obama has signed into law legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy to reauthorize satellite television licenses and to modernize satellite television services. The legislation will particularly benefit Vermonters in Bennington and Windham counties, who now may be able to receive Burlington networks through DISH, in addition DirecTV. The President signed the bill into law on Thursday. "Vermonters are connected by the programming the state's networks provide to television viewers… Continue Reading


05.27.10

Comment On Attorney General Holder’s Issuance Of A New Justice Department Policy On Charging and Sentencing

"With this new policy, Attorney General Holder has taken a further step toward restoring the Justice Department's commitment to enforcing the law aggressively, effectively, and fairly. I applaud Attorney General Holder for his forward-thinking and common-sense update to the Justice Department's policies on charging criminal cases, making plea deals, and seeking sentences. This is a marked change in the policies implemented by the Bush Justice Department. By emphasizing both the importance of … Continue Reading


05.27.10

Leahy Named A Conferee On Wall Street Reform Bill

Senate leaders have appointed U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) as one of the 12 Senate conferees who will negotiate the final form of the landmark financial reform legislation that now has passed the Senate and the House in different forms. The conferees will meet in June. The Senate conferees - seven Democratic senators and five Republican senators - are senior members on either the Banking or Agriculture Committees. From the Agriculture Committee, Leahy -- the panel's most senior member o… Continue Reading


05.26.10

Leahy And Other Senators Ask Attorney General To Look Into Transocean’s Plans To Distribute $1 B. In Dividends

(Wednesday, May 26) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and 17 other senators are asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to look into financial transactions of Transocean Ltd. Just weeks after the Transocean-owned Deepwater Horizon oil rig was destroyed in the Gulf of Mexico, the corporation announced intentions to distribute $1 billion to private shareholders. In the letter to Holder, the senators question if the move by Transocean is an attempt to shield the company from lawsuits. The move ma… Continue Reading


05.26.10

Vermont Delegation Announces Grants For Three Vermont Towns;

(May 26, 2010) -Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch announced Wednesday that three Vermont towns will receive grants for the improvement of public safety services through the purchase of equipment and upgrades. This funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This Recovery Act funding is provided through USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities program, which helps finance … Continue Reading


05.26.10

Health Care Reform Means Additional Assistance For Vermont Medicaid

(May 26, 2010) - During the debate earlier this year on health insurance reform, Senator Leahy worked to ensure that states that took early action to cover more people through Medicaid were not punished for acting early. Under the original Senate bill, Vermont was one of only two states that would not have received any additional federal assistance for the state's Medicaid program, simply for acting early to do the right thing. Senator Leahy, in collaboration with other Senators, agreed upon … Continue Reading


05.25.10

Statement on Sessions Amendment Number 4173

Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I wish to speak about the Sessions amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill. This is the amendment that would cap discretionary spending this year and for future years, irrespective of the needs of the government and the American people. I know our distinguished chairman, Senator Inouye, has already spoken about it. I note this is the fourth time the Senate has been asked to vote on this amendment. The last three times it was defeated. Now we have to v… Continue Reading


05.25.10

Comment On Repeal Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy

"I support congressional action to move past the policies that discriminated against men and women serving or wanting to serve in our Nation's military, on the basis of their sexual orientation. I commend Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Gates, and the President for their leadership on this important issue. America is defended by the finest military in the world. There should be no place in America, including in our military, for discrimination. "W… Continue Reading


05.25.10

Statement On The Nomination Of Elena Kagan To The Supreme Court Of The United States

Senator Leahy Speaks on Kagan Nomination on Senate Floor Two weeks ago, President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Much has been written and said about this nomination during the last two weeks, and more will be said over the next month, as we prepare for the Judiciary Committee's hearing, which will begin on June 28. So far, there has been too much talk about process and too much partisanship … Continue Reading


05.24.10

Comment On The Supreme Court’s Decision In American Needle Inc. v. National Football League

[The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in American Needle, Inc., v. National Football League. In a unanimous decision, the Court reversed the Seventh Circuit and held that NFL teams can be held liable for agreements among League members that constitute an unreasonable restraint of trade.] "The Court's unanimous decision will ensure that the antitrust laws apply to concerted actions by teams of the National Football League. This ruling is a rare win for sports fans, and in fact for all Amer… Continue Reading


05.23.10

Leahy Calls on Napolitano To Close Morses Line Border Crossing

(SUNDAY, May 23, 2010) - Following Saturday's public meeting in Franklin regarding the Morse's Line Border Crossing, Senator Patrick Leahy has written to Secretary Janet Napolitano calling for closure of the crossing. Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told Napolitano that he was prepared to close the port during the Appropriations process if necessary. May 23, 2010 The Honorable Janet NapolitanoSecretaryUnites States Department of Homeland Security Washington, DC … Continue Reading


05.21.10

Comment On National Archive And Clinton Library Efforts To Identify Materials In Connection With Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s Nomination To Be An Associate Justice Of The United States Supreme Court

A copy of the letter from David S. Ferriero to Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Sessions is available online. "The National Archives and Records Administration and the Clinton Library are undertaking an exhaustive and thorough search for records responsive to the requests of the White House and the Senate Judiciary Committee. The search methodology they have outlined appears to be more comprehensive than that undertaken in response to Senate Democrats' narrow request for high-priority documen… Continue Reading


05.20.10

Statement On Wall Street Reform Legislation

Mr. President, I strongly support the reform bill before us, S.3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. I commend Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd and Majority Leader Harry Reid for shepherding this significant piece of legislation through the Senate. Getting to this point was no small feat given the near-unanimous opposition to Wall Street reform that this effort has encountered from the other side of the aisle. But Senators Dodd and Reid persevered because t… Continue Reading


05.20.10

Leahy Pushes For Public Access To Oil Spill Information

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to press federal executive agencies to make publicly available information related to the ongoing oil spill and growing environmental crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. Leahy is a longtime leader Congress in promoting government transparency, and in strengthening the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. "I write to urge you to take immediate steps to increase public acc… Continue Reading


05.20.10

Leahy Joins Franken, Others To Introduce Student Non-Discrimination Act

Senator Patrick Leahy on Thursday joined Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) and 21 other senators to introduce the Student Non-Discrimination Act to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) students from harassment, bullying, and violence at school. "The Student Non-Discrimination Act will ensure that under federal law, all public school children are protected equally from discrimination. Children deserve a safe environment where they can learn the skills and knowledge necessary to be go… Continue Reading


05.19.10

Director Of Vermont Immigration And Asylum Advocates Testifies Before Leahy-Chaired Panel

(Wednesday, May 19, 2010) - Vermont Patrick Giantonio, the Executive Director of Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates testified Wednesday morning before a panel chaired by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. Leahy is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over immigration and refugee related issues. Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates provides legal services to immigrants and asylum seekers. Wednesday's hearing, "Renewing America's commitment to the Refugee Co… Continue Reading


05.19.10

Leahy, Sessions Request Kagan Documents From Clinton Library

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Tuesday sent a letter to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, requesting documents related to the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. On Tuesday, Solicitor General Kagan returned the responses to the bipartisan Committee questionnaire, which requested information in the possession of the nominee. … Continue Reading


05.19.10

Green Mountain Valley School

On May 19, 2010, Senator Leahy conducted an online chat with 19 students from Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield, Vermont. Students used Skype to ask Senator Leahy questions about the dairy industry in Vermont and Senator Leahy's efforts to assist dairy farmers. They also asked a variety of questions about Senator Leahy's life as a United States Senator, his personal interests and his thoughts on Elena Kagan's nomination for Supreme Court Justice. Senator Leahy chats via video with st… Continue Reading


05.19.10

Kagan Confirmation Hearing To Begin June 28

Senator Leahy Sets Date For Kagan Confirmation Hearing To Begin June 28 WASHINGTON - At a hearing Wednesday morning, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that proceedings to consider the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court will begin on June 28. "This is a reasonable schedule that is in line with past practice," said Leahy. "Last year, we proceeded with the hearing on the nomination of Justice Soto… Continue Reading

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