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Press Releases

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


Judiciary Committee Advances Liu Nomination To Senate Floor

(Thursday, May 13, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to advance the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to the full Senate. The Committee also advanced Second Circuit nominee Ray Lohier, and District of Delaware nominee Leonard Stark, as well as four U.S. Marshal nominees and a U.S. Attorney nominee. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Committee, made the following remarks the executive business meeting.] Statement Of Senator Pa… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sessions Release Kagan Questionnaire

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Thursday released the bipartisan questionnaire the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked Solicitor General Elena Kagan to complete in connection with her nomination to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Responses to the Committee questionnaire will be made available online once received. Print copies will be made available upon request. A PDF of the questionnair… Continue Reading


Remarks On Receiving The Hubert H. Humphrey Award Of The Leadership Conference On Civil Rights

[On Wednesday, May 12, 2010, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was recognized at the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner, sponsored by the leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. The event is the year's largest gathering of the civil and human rights community. Leahy was awarded the 2010 Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award in recognition of his long record of advocacy for social and economic justice. Previous recipients of the award include the late Senator… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sessions Ask Attorney General For Information On Hoax Calls To Military Families

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Wednesday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, asking for information about the Justice Department's investigation into hoax phone calls to families of members of the military serving overseas. The hoax phone calls were reported as early as 1991, and have been placed in Vermont, Alabama, and elsewhere across the country. Federal officials have opened an investigation into hoax phone ca… Continue Reading


Comments Following A Meeting With Solicitor General Elena Kagan

Leahy Meets With U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Solicitor General Kagan and I have just finished our meeting. I am impressed with her knowledge and legal background, as I was when the President nominated her to serve as Solicitor General of the United States, the country's top lawyer at the Supreme Court. Unlike the last time she was nominated to a judgeship, this time, I could assure her, and can assure you, that she will receive a hearing. I will do my best to make sure that i… Continue Reading


Leahy-Authored Extension Of Satellite TV Licenses Set To Become Law

Legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to reauthorize satellite television licenses and to modernize satellite television services is headed to the President's desk for signature, following a vote this morning in the House of Representatives. Leahy has been working for months with leaders in the Senate and House to reauthorize several satellite television licenses which are set to expire on May 31. "This legislation modernizes and extends important statutory copyright licenses t… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Leahy-Authored Resolution Commemorating National Peace Officers Memorial Day

The Senate Tuesday night adopted a resolution authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to commemorate the service of law enforcement officers across the country and honor those who lost their lives in the line of duty in the last year. This week, law enforcement officers from across the country will come to Washington, D.C. to celebrate Police Week. The Leahy-authored resolution recognizes May 15, 2010, as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. Leahy has introduced resolutions commemorating N… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Two District Court Judges

The Senate Tuesday afternoon confirmed two nominations to fill vacancies on federal district court. The Senate confirmed Timothy Black to a seat in the Southern District of Ohio, and Jon E. DeGuilio to a seat in the Northern District of Indiana. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has been pressing for floor time to consider the more than 20 judicial nominations pending before the full Senate. Sixteen of the 22 judicial nominations still pending on the Senate's executiv… Continue Reading


Leahy Proposes Open Government Amendment To Wall Street Reform Bill

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) yesterday filed an amendment to the pending Wall Street reform legislation to protect the identity of whistleblowers while ensuring transparency for the public in financial fraud cases. The amendment removes language from the bill that, in some cases, would indefinitely shield critical information about financial fraud from the public. The Leahy-authored provision eliminates the overbroad confidentiality provision in the current legisla… Continue Reading


Comment On Release Of The Administration’s 2010 National Drug Control Strategy

"I have long believed that to break the cycle of drug abuse and crime, we must adopt a collaborative approach that emphasizes community-based prevention, treatment, and effective law enforcement. President Obama's first National Drug Control Strategy, released today, champions that approach and establishes five-year goals for reducing drug abuse and its consequences through a balanced policy of prevention, treatment and enforcement. "Vermonters have been working together on commonsense answers… Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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