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Press Releases

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

05.11.10

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Oversight Of U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services

(Tuesday, May 11, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today is holding a hearing on oversight of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that serves as the principal administrator of the nation's immigration policy. The Committee, which is chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), has jurisdiction over immigration, citizenship and related issues. Alejandro Mayorkas, the Director of USCIS, testified at the hearing. Member statements and testimony, as well as a live webcast, ar… Continue Reading


05.10.10

Comment On The President’s Nomination Of Elena Kagan To Be An Associate Justice of The United States Supreme Court

I congratulate Elena Kagan on her nomination to the Supreme Court. The President chose from an impressive list of superbly qualified candidates. He consulted with Senators on both sides of the aisle, and with others. As a scholar of the Constitution himself, he brought a wealth of knowledge and insight to his selection process. He wanted to select an outstanding future Justice who is well within the mainstream of legal and constitutional thought, and her recent Senate confirmation to be Soli… Continue Reading


05.07.10

On Choosing A Supreme Court Nominee

President Obama is about to make one of the most important decisions any president can make: choosing a Supreme Court nominee. Next it will be the Judiciary Committee's turn to evaluate the nominee's qualifications and to hold public hearings, and then it's the Senate's turn. Casting a vote to fill a Court vacancy is one of the weightiest decisions any senator will face. The retiring Justice, John Paul Stevens, in many ways is the model of what a Justice should be - a superb and influential j… Continue Reading


05.06.10

Leahy Presses For Immediate Action To Restore Protections For Older Workers

(Thursday, May 6, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday urged the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to quickly consider legislation to restore vital civil rights protections for older workers in the wake of the Supreme Court's 2009 decision in Gross v. FBL Financial. Leahy and HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act in October. Leahy urged prompt consideration… Continue Reading


05.05.10

Senate Unanimously Approves Leahy-Cornyn Faster FOIA Act

The Senate Wednesday evening unanimously passed legislation authored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) to make further improvements to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. Leahy and Cornyn are both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which advanced the legislation to the full Senate in April. Recent years have seen increased agency backlogs in processing FOIA requests. The Faster FOIA Act will establish an ad… Continue Reading


05.05.10

Iran At The United Nations

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I read with interest, and disgust, the press reports about the comments of Iranian President Ahmadinejad at the United Nations on Monday, when he attempted to defend Iran's secret nuclear program and his government's continuing defiance of the Security Council. I could not help but contrast his words with the efforts so many other countries have been making to prevent a nuclear weapon from ending up in the hands of a terrorist, or a nuclear arms race from taking off … Continue Reading


05.05.10

Senate Now Voting On Three District Court Nominees

The Senate will vote this afternoon on three pending district court nominations, the first votes to be held on judicial nominees in two weeks. The Senate is expected to confirm Nancy D. Freudenthal to the District of Wyoming; Denzil P. Marshall, Jr., to the Eastern District of Arkansas; and Gloria M. Navarro to the District of Nevada. Twenty additional judicial nominations remain pending on the Senate's executive calendar. They have been pending on the calendar since as long ago as November. … Continue Reading


05.05.10

Leahy Proposes Amendment To Wall Street Reform Bill To Repeal Antitrust Exemption For Health Insurers

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday filed an amendment to the pending Wall Street reform legislation to repeal the health insurance industry's exemption from federal antitrust laws. Leahy introduced legislation in September to repeal the exemption, and sought to include the repeal in the health insurance reform legislation enacted earlier this year. "The recent economic crisis showed all of us that corporations do not act responsibly without adequate oversight," said Leahy. "It is importa… Continue Reading


05.05.10

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Importance Of Landmark Violence Against Women Act

The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence presented testimony Wednesday before a Senate Committee chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The Judiciary Committee held a hearing in Washington to explore how best to improve the landmark 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which has provided critical assistance to survivors of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Leahy invited Auburn Watersong, an economic justice specialist with the Vermont Network Agai… Continue Reading


05.04.10

Leahy, Grassley, Specter, Kaufman Seek To Add Anti-Fraud, Whistleblower Protections To Wall Street Reform Bill

Leading members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday filed an amendment to the Wall Street reform legislation that will increase law enforcement resources to root out and prosecute financial and securities fraud, and will strengthen protections for whistleblowers who help expose financial fraud. The amendment is sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Committee's chairman, and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). "In these difficult eco… Continue Reading


05.04.10

Stowe Elementary School

On May 4, 2010 Senator Leahy spent 30 minutes speaking with the members of the Stowe Elementary School Student Council. The 4th and 5th grade students asked a variety of questions about handling the pressure of being a Senator, White Nose disease in Vermont Bats, and Health Care Reform. Senator Leahy last spoke with the members of the student council in 2009. The questions asked during the chat are listed below. Johnny: What committee that you are on is the most important to you? Graham: why … Continue Reading


05.02.10

High Court's Rulings Affect Your Daily Life

Justice John Paul Stevens has announced his retirement from the Supreme Court of the United States. The process to appoint a new justice to succeed him is just beginning. Now more than ever, Americans should take notice of how the Supreme Court affects us all. Any American who thinks the Supreme Court doesn't matter to them should consider a few questions: Are you over the age of 50? Are you a woman who works? Do you own a small business? Do you care about taxpayer dollars being wasted on fraud… Continue Reading


04.30.10

The Leahy Letter - April 30, 2010

Oil Spill Disaster Continues To Spread In Gulf of Mexico Last week, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig 40 miles off the Louisiana coastline resulted in the loss of eleven workers and massive leaking of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day. In damage to fragile ocean and coastal ecosystems alone, this accident may become the worst environmental disaster in recent years. Senator Leahy said this incident reminds us "of some of the high human, environmenta… Continue Reading


04.30.10

Comment On The Oil Spill Disaster That Continues To Spread In The Gulf Of Mexico

The unfolding disaster of the sinking and leaking of a drilling platform off the Louisiana coast, together with the recent tragedies at coal mines in West Virginia and Kentucky, remind us of some of the high human, environmental and economic costs associated with the extraction of fossil fuels. These incidents are all the more troubling because the evidence is clear that we cannot drill or mine our way to long-term energy security. Many workers have lost their lives and their families have los… Continue Reading


04.29.10

Comment On Proposals For Comprehensive Immigration Reform

"Senators Reid, Schumer and Menendez have released a productive framework for the process of drafting comprehensive immigration reform legislation. I share their commitment to enacting key legislative efforts including AgJobs, the Uniting American Families Act, the DREAM Act, and a permanent extension of the EB-5 foreign investors program, as part of comprehensive reform. These are sensible, constructive and urgently needed measures that have had, and should continue to have, bipartisan suppor… Continue Reading


04.29.10

Leahy Joins As A Leading Cosponsor Of Bill To Help Remedy Supreme Court’s Citizens United Campaign Finance Decision

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined other Senate leaders Thursday to introduce legislation addressing the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, in which five Justices overturned decades of campaign finance law, as well as the Court's own precedent. Leahy has been a leading voice in opposition to the Court's decision, the impact of which could play a serious role in elections across the country in November and beyond. Leahy and o… Continue Reading


04.27.10

Leahy Secures Pledge From Secretary Napolitano For A Public Meeting In Vermont On The Proposed Replacement Facility At The Morses Line Border Crossing

Senator Leahy Secures Public Meeting For Proposed Border Facility [WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday held an oversight hearing on the Department of Homeland Security, in which DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano testified. The hearing was organized and led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the panel's chairman. Member statements, witness testimony and a webcast are available online. In an exchange with Secretary Napolitano over the controversy surrounding the proposed replac… Continue Reading


04.27.10

Secretary Napolitano Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee today is holding a Department of Homeland Security oversight hearing with Secretary Janet Napolitano. Under the chairmanship of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Judiciary Committee has held periodic oversight hearings with the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over immigration, citizenship and related issues. Member statements, witness testimony, and a live webcast are available online. Leahy's prepared remarks follow. … Continue Reading


04.26.10

Op-ED: Pick a Nominee Who Unites Americans

When President Barack Obama chooses his second Supreme Court nominee, the Senate must determine the kind of justice that nominee would be. The debate about judicial nominees, after all, is really a debate about judicial power and the role federal judges are supposed to play in our system of government.One side in that debate wants judges who will rule the way they want on the issues they care about. The political ends justify the judicial means and the only thing that matters is which sid… Continue Reading


04.26.10

Op-ED: Expand the Field of Potential Supreme Court Nominees

As President Barack Obama prepares to select a nominee to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens, I am pleased that he is continuing his practice of reaching out to both sides of the aisle concerning judicial nominations. I am looking forward to consulting with the president, and with the Senate majority leader, the Senate minority leader and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. This is an important step in the process of confirming the next Supreme Court justice. Last year's nomination of Justice Soni… Continue Reading

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