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Press Releases

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

05.01.09

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Announced Retirement Plans Of Associate Supreme Court Justice David Souter

"Justice Souter has served the Nation with distinction for nearly two decades on the Supreme Court. I have admired his commitment to justice, his admiration for the law, and his understanding of the impact of the Court's decisions on the daily lives of ordinary Americans. Throughout his career, he has been committed to the law and not to ideology. New Englanders treasure our strong sense of independence, and Justice Souter fits the independent Yankee mold. He has a first-rate legal mind. I … Continue Reading


04.30.09

Comment On The Department Of Justice Inspector General’s Audit And Report Of Investigation Concerning The Office Of Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention

"The Inspector General's findings that the Director of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the past administration engaged in abuses, ethical lapses and cronyism, and favored those with personal and political ties over those with the strongest merits for jobs and contracts, is consistent with what we have seen in so many parts of the Department of Justice under the past administration. The Department of Justice must enforce the law and advance justice for all Amer… Continue Reading


04.30.09

Comment On The Department Of Justice Inspector General’s Audit And Report Of Investigation Concerning The Office Of Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention

"The Inspector General's findings that the Director of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the past administration engaged in abuses, ethical lapses and cronyism, and favored those with personal and political ties over those with the strongest merits for jobs and contracts, is consistent with what we have seen in so many parts of the Department of Justice under the past administration. The Department of Justice must enforce the law and advance justi… Continue Reading


04.29.09

Statement At Hearing On “Restoring Fairness to Federal Sentencing: Addressing the Crack-Powder Disparity”

Today marks the 100th day of President Obama's administration, and already we have seen a response to the President's call for change. The Judiciary Committee today considers necessary changes and reforms in our Federal sentencing laws. Our hearing will examine the unequal and unfair penalties for crack and powder cocaine offenses. We will consider how best to make our drug laws more fair, more rational, and more consistent with the core values of justice. The Committee has examined … Continue Reading


04.29.09

Give Ingenuity Freer Rein

[On April 29, 2009, Business Week included this Op-Ed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Leahy wrote in support of the Patent Reform Act currently before Congress.] Ingenuity and innovation have been cornerstones of the American economy from the time Thomas Jefferson issued the first patent. The Patent Reform Act will preserve America's longstanding position at the pinnacle of innovation. It will establish a more efficient, streamlined patent system that will i… Continue Reading


04.29.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing For Three Nominees

(Wednesday, April 29, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday considered three pending nominations, including two nominations for lifetime appointments to the federal bench. The hearing, announced last week by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, included testimony from Judge Andre Davis, nominated to a fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and Thomas Perez, a nominee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Ju… Continue Reading


04.29.09

Leahy, Sanders And Welch Introduce ‘Greener Gardens Bill’ Giving Consumers Tax Incentives For Choosing Lower-Emissions Yard Equipment

(Wednesday, April 29) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to offer consumers a 25 percent tax credit toward the purchase of environmentally friendly lawn, garden, and forestry power equipment. In line with past tax credits that were successful in boosting consumer demand for environmentally friendly products like hybrid vehicles and energy efficient home appliances, the Vermont delegation… Continue Reading


04.29.09

Leahy Invites Bybee To Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee

(Wednesday, April 29, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today sent a letter to Judge Jay S. Bybee inviting him to testify before the Committee in connection with his role in writing legal memoranda authorizing the use of harsh interrogation techniques while serving as the Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Bybee was the head of OLC from October 2001 until March 2003, when he was confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the federa… Continue Reading


04.29.09

A Crucial Voting Rights Case Reaches The Supreme Court

[The following guest column by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was originally published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on April 29, 2009. This morning, Leahy attended oral arguments at the Supreme Court in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder, a case involving Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.] Today the U.S. Supreme Court will consider a case challenging the constitutional authority of Congress to reauthorize Section 5 of th… Continue Reading


04.28.09

Statement On The Introduction Of The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act Of 2009

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, this is National Crime Victims' Rights Week--a time when communities in Vermont and across the Nation recognize the needs of crime victims, and work together to promote victims' rights and services. There is no more important time than now to renew our commitment to address the needs of crime victims and their families. Today, I am pleased to join Senator Kennedy, Senator Collins, and more than 30 other Senators from both sides of the aisle to reintroduce the Matt… Continue Reading


04.28.09

Comment On Senator Arlen Specter

Sen. Leahy Comments On Sen. Arlen Specter At a press conference earlier today on the Senate's passage of the bipartisan Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) made the following comments about the decision of Senator Arlen Specter to change political parties. Specter is the senior Senator from Pennsylvania. "Senator Specter called me this morning. He and I have been friends for 40 years. We first met when we were both young p… Continue Reading


04.28.09

Leahy-Authored Anti-Fraud Bill Overwhelmingly Passes Senate

(Tuesday, April 28, 2009) - The Senate Tuesday overwhelmingly passed legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to bolster existing tools and increase resources available to federal prosecutors to combat fraud. The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) will help both to protect Americans from fraud and recover taxpayers' money lost to fraud. Leahy introduced the bipartisan legislation on February 5. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, reported the measure … Continue Reading


04.28.09

Leahy Panel Hears Testimony From Vermont Witnesses During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Senate Hearing on 25th Anniversary of the Victims of Crime Act WASHINGTON (Tuesday, April 28, 2009) - Two Vermonters testified Tuesday at a hearing on Capitol Hill chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The hearing, "The Victims of Crime Act: 25 Years of Protecting and Supporting Victims," included testimony from Susan Russell of Warren Vermont, a crime victim survivor, and Judy Rex, the Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services. This week is National C… Continue Reading


04.27.09

Senate Crosses Procedural Hurdle, Set To Vote On Leahy-Authored Anti-Fraud Bill Tuesday

(Monday, April 27, 2009) - The Senate Monday night overcame a procedural hurdle and moved closer to a final vote on a bill authored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to strengthen the tools available to law enforcement to combat financial and mortgage fraud, and protect the economic recovery efforts. The Senate Monday overwhelmingly voted to bring debate to a close on the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, a bill introduced in March by Leahy and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senat… Continue Reading


04.24.09

Vermont Witnesses To Testify Before Leahy-Chaired Panel

FRIDAY April 24, 2009 - Two Vermonters will testify about the importance of the Crime Victims Act in Washington next week before a Senate panel chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The hearing will be held on Tuesday, April 28. Next week is National Crime Victims' Rights Week. It is the 25th anniversary of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), which established the Crime Victims' Fund. The Fund serves roughly four million crime victims a year, including victims of domestic violence, s… Continue Reading


04.24.09

Leahy Announces Homeland Security Oversight Hearing

(Friday, April 24, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced that the Committee will hold an oversight hearing with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday, May 6. It will be Napolitano's first appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over immigration, citizenship and related issues. The Senate Judiciary Committee has held periodic oversight hearings with the Secretary of Homeland Se… Continue Reading


04.23.09

Republicans Obstruct Movement On Anti-Fraud Legislation

(Thursday, April 23, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) expressed disappointment Thursday that a few Senate Republicans have stalled the Senate's consideration of bipartisan legislation to strengthen the tools available to law enforcement to combat financial and mortgage fraud, and protect the economic recovery efforts. Leahy introduced the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) in February, and the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, held a hearing shortly after the in… Continue Reading


04.23.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Reports Two Executive Nominees

(Thursday, April 23, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday reported two nominations to the Senate for consideration. Ronald H. Weich is the nominee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Department of Justice, and R. Gil Kerlikowske is the nominee to be Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Both appeared before the Judiciary Committee at a hearing on April 1, 2009. "The Judiciary Committee has made progress this year in … Continue Reading


04.23.09

Senate Continues Debate On Leahy-Authored Anti-Fraud Legislation

(Thursday, April 23, 2009) - The Senate Thursday continued debate on the Fraud Enforcement and Recover Act of 2009, legislation that would reinvest in federal agencies' white collar crime investigative units, and strengthen tools to root out and prosecute fraud. The bill was introduced earlier this year by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Committee members Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). Several amendments remain pending on the legislation,… Continue Reading


04.22.09

Fraud Enforcement Legislation Responds To Growing Reports Of Fraud

The Senate continues to debate the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, legislation that will make necessary changes to federal criminal laws, including criminal fraud, securities law, and money laundering laws; increase the funding available to the federal law enforcement agencies to combat mortgage fraud and predatory lending; and revise the False Claims Act to ensure that the government can recover taxpayer dollars lost to fraud and abuse. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has seen a… Continue Reading

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