Press Room

Press Releases

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


The Supreme Court Decision In Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (Voter Identification)

Today the Supreme Court failed to protect access to the ballot box for some of the most vulnerable Americans. We have seen an effort by this administration, its political appointees and some partisans to use the specter of purported "voter fraud" for political advantage. They do so at the expense of vulnerable communities and have excluded millions of elderly, low-income, disabled, and minority voters, even though in-person voter fraud has been proven time and time again to be a myth. Justice S… Continue Reading


Leahy And Dodd Announce Federal Funding To Hire Additional Firefighters In South Burlington

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (Saturday, April 26) - The author of a landmark federal firefighting grant program, U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) visited with members of the South Burlington Fire Department Saturday to announce that South Burlington has received a $632,550 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant. The funding will be used to hire six additional firefighters and to provide more consistent advanced life support services. Do… Continue Reading


Vermont Witnesses To Be Joined By Oscar-Nominated Actor At Hearing Before Leahy Panel

(Thursday, April 25, 2008) - Two-time Academy Award nominee Djimon Hounsou will join representatives from Vermont in testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing to identify and explore solutions to address rising numbers of runaway and homeless youths, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today. Leahy invited Hounsou to offer testimony before the Senate panel and to share his firsthand experience with youth homelessness. He will bring his personal insight about how the is… Continue Reading


Expanded DNA Collection By The Federal Government

(Friday, April 25, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging policy makers on Capitol Hill to scrutinize a proposed Federal rule that will sanction the collection of DNA from all citizens arrested for Federal crimes. Under the proposal, the personal, genetic information of arrested or detained individuals would be included in the nation's leading DNA database known as CODIS. In a statement Thursday, Leahy pointed to serious civil liberties violations that coul… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Three Judicial Nominations

(Thursday, April 24, 2008) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today continued its progress in considering judicial nominations, clearing the way for the Senate to confirm three more lifetime appointments to the Federal bench. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) expedited the Committee's unanimous votes on three district court nominees, whose confirmation hearings were held just three weeks ago. The nominees ordered to be reported to the full Senate include the district court nominations of Mark Davis… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Reaffirms McCain’s “Natural Born” Status

(Thursday, April 24, 2008) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today passed a resolution introduced earlier this month by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) expressing the sense of the Senate that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidency, is constitutionally eligible to run for President of the United States. McCain is expected to be named the Republican party's nominee for the November election. The bipartisan resolution is a… Continue Reading


Kennedy, Specter, Leahy On State Secrets Committee Passage

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported S. 2533, the "State Secrets Protection Act," on a bipartisan vote. The Bush administration has asserted the privilege in numerous cases challenging the constitutionality of its programs-from wiretapping without warrants, to extraordinary rendition, to interrogation-and the need for congressional action is clear. The State Secrets Protection Act provides detailed guidance to the federal courts, bringing clarity, predictability, and fairness to thei… Continue Reading


Opening Statement At Executive Business Meeting

We convene this morning with another full agenda. I trust we will be able to turn to it immediately following my brief opening remarks and those of Senator Specter. I begin by noting that this is the first business meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee to be webcast live. I am a strong proponent of webcasting and am delighted that now in addition to webcasting our hearings we are able to provide greater access to the American public by webcasting our business meetings, as well. On our ag… Continue Reading


Introduction Of The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act Of 2008

(Thursday, April 24, 2008) - Leading members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees today introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to preserve so-called "orphan works" - works that may be protected by copyright, but whose owners cannot be found. Potential users of orphan works often fail to display or use such works out of concern that they may be found liable for statutory damages, amounting to as much as $150,000. Legislation to address those concerns was introduced today in the Se… Continue Reading


Mettawee Community School

Sen Leahy: Hi - I am back. Was just telling the staff here about when I was State's Attorney and worked with Bob Graf when he was in the Legislature. Small world! Mettawee Community School: Mrs. Ahlfeld, Librarian, Mrs. Mark, Principal, Mrs. Roberts and Ms. Thomas: Thank you so much Senator Leahy for this opportunity. Mrs. Roberts is happy to hear about her father's connection to you! Sen Leahy: Thanks and Mrs. Ahlfeld i also knew Sen Lawrence years ago Mettawee Community School: That… Continue Reading


Overcoming The Supreme Court’s Cramped Ruling On Fair Pay

(The U.S. Senate this week will try to overcome a filibuster on legislation to remedy a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that disallowed the discriminatory pay complaint filed by Goodyear Tire employee Lilly Ledbetter. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is a cosponsor of the bill. Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.) The Supreme Court's recent decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire struck a severe blow to the rights of working women. More than 40 years ago, Congress acted to preven… Continue Reading


Hearing On "National Security Letters: The Need for Greater Accountability and Oversight"

(Wednesday, April 23, 2008) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today heard testimony from a panel of expert witnesses on the use of National Security Letters (NSLs) by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 9/11. The letters, issued by the FBI to various entities, including phone companies and Internet providers, are used to request personal information about U.S. citizens without a court order and without judicial oversight. The Department of Justice Inspector General has issued two re… Continue Reading


Overcoming The Supreme Court’s Cramped Ruling On Fair Pay

(The U.S. Senate this week will try to overcome a filibuster on legislation to remedy a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that disallowed the discriminatory pay complaint filed by Goodyear Tire employee Lilly Ledbetter. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is a cosponsor of the bill. Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.) The Supreme Court's recent decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire struck a severe blow to the rights of working women. More than 40 years ago, Congress acted to prevent disc… Continue Reading


Vermont Witnesses To Testify Before Leahy Panel

(Wednesday, April 23, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will hold a hearing April 29 on Capitol Hill to examine the problems facing homeless and runaway youths today, and has invited testimony from representatives of Vermont'sSpectrum Youth and Family Services, a non-profit agency founded in 1970 to assist Vermont youth and Families. Spectrum's Executive Director, Mark Redmond, will testify about the organization's unique and successful program, Spectrum One Stop… Continue Reading


Leahy Schedules Hearing For Fourth Circuit Nominee

(Wednesday, April 23, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today scheduled a hearing to consider three judicial nominations, including a nominee to fill a seat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. It will be the sixth nominations hearing of the session, and the fourth for judicial nominations. After withdrawing the nomination of Duncan Getchell in January, last month the President nominated Steven Agee to a Virginia vacancy on the Fourth Circuit. Unlike previou… Continue Reading


Leahy: Circuit Vacancies Lowest In Over A Decade

(Wednesday, April 23, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) responded Wednesday to partisan attacks from Senate Republicans over the consideration of judicial nominations, citing the lowest vacancy rate on the Federal bench in more than a decade. In a response to an April 10 letter from Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and after weeks of orchestrated attacks by Republicans on the Senate floor, Leahy outlined his approach to continue the significa… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Senate To Take Up And Pass Fair Pay Legislation

(Wednesday, April 23, 2008) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today urged the Senate to take up and support bipartisan civil rights legislation that passed the House of Representatives to restore congressional intent regarding discrimination on the basis of sex, race or national origin. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act responds to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling in which a slim majority of Justices held that Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor at Goodyear Tire, could not seek to recoup lost wages because s… Continue Reading


Congressional Delegation Presses Defense Secretary To Resolve Delays To Vt. Soldiers’ Return Home

(Wednesday, April 23) - In response to calls yesterday from the families of Vermont soldiers who have completed their tours of duty in Iraq, but face transportation problems delaying their return home, the Vermont Congressional Delegation requested immediate attention by the Secretary of Defense. "The parents of two different Vermont soldiers have contacted our offices to express frustration that their sons are facing delays in coming home. After completing their service to our country overseas… Continue Reading


The Introduction Of “The Wartime Enforcement Of Fraud Act Of 2008”

(Friday, April 18, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today introduced legislation to improve the enforcement of contracting fraud in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Wartime Enforcement of Fraud Act (WEFA) would close a loophole in current law and give the government the power to prosecute contracting fraud, even after the wars are over. If passed, the government could prosecute individuals or corporations that commit crimin… Continue Reading


“Challenges And Solutions For Protecting Our Children From Violence In The 21st Century”

Today the Judiciary Committee considers the issue of how to protect our most precious resource - our children and grandchildren - in these complicated and sometimes dangerous times. It is National Crime Victims' Rights Week, and we need to do all that we can to protect our children from becoming victims of crime. I thank Senator Biden for holding this hearing and for his leadership on the issues of internet safety and crime prevention. This Committee has been actively working to find ways for… Continue Reading

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