Press Room

Press Releases

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


Statement On The Situation In Sri Lanka

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the recent defeat of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, otherwise known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, is a very welcome development. Led by a reclusive, cult-like figure who apparently saw no evil in forcibly recruiting and brainwashing young children to become suicide bombers, the LTTE long ago forfeited any legitimate claim to representing the interests of the Tamil population. This resounding victory offers the possibility--after 30 long years of co… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Reports First Judicial Nominations

(Thursday, June 4, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday reported the first judicial nominations of the 111th Congress. Judge David Hamilton is a nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and Judge Andre Davis is a nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The Committee also reported one executive nomination to the Senate for consideration. Thomas Perez is nominated to be Assistant Attorney General for t… Continue Reading


Comment On The Questionnaire For Judge Sonia Sotomayor To Be Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court

"It has taken just one week for Judge Sotomayor to complete and return this detailed, bipartisan questionnaire to the Senate. She has an exceptional record in public service, and her record is open and impressive. From her years in law enforcement as a tough prosecutor, to more than 17 years on the federal bench, Judge Sotomayor's commitment to the rule of law is clear and unequivocal. I was impressed when I met with her earlier this week, and I know many other Senators have been impres… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sessions Release Completed Sotomayor Questionnaire

UPDATE: In addition to the bipartisan Committee questionnaire, all of the attachments submitted are now available on the web. Judge Sotomayor has submitted a limited number of video and audio files as well. A list will be posted and made available, where possible, Friday. WASHINGTON - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Thursday released the completed bipartisan questionnaire submitted by Judge Sonia Sotomayor in connecti… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter - June 4, 2009

Senator Leahy Meets With Judge Sonia Sotomayor As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Leahy will oversee the confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be on the U.S. Supreme Court. On Tuesday, Senator Leahy and Judge Sotomayor met to discuss her nomination. You can click here to find out more about the upcoming confirmation process. You can also listen to or watch Senator Leahy's news conference that followed their meeting by clicking here. _____________________… Continue Reading


Vermont Witness To Be Joined By Actress Gabrielle Union At Hearing Before Leahy Panel

The Director of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Karen Tronsgard-Scott, will testify June 10 before a panel chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy. The hearing will focus on the importance of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which supports the work of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, courts, shelters, and other programs to stem domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The Act was signed into law in 1994. Leahy has also invited actress … Continue Reading


Statement On The Uniting American Families Act: Addressing Inequality in Federal Immigration Law

For too long, gay and lesbian American citizens whose partners are foreign nationals have been denied the ability to sponsor their loved ones for lawful permanent residency. Under current immigration law, many citizens have been forced to choose between their country and their loved ones. No American should face such a choice. The preservation of family unity is at the core of our immigration legal system. This American value must apply to all families. During the past several years, A… Continue Reading


Leahy Applauds Extension For State Compliance With Sex Offender Registration And Notification Act

Tuesday applauded the Justice Department's decision to give a one-year extension to states and other jurisdictions struggling to comply with the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The Act was included as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which was signed into law in 2006, and required states to comply with the provisions by July of this year. In March, Leahy and other congressional leaders urged Attorney General Eric Holder to extend… Continue Reading


Comments Following Meeting with Judge Sonia Sotomayor

Press Conference After Meeting With Judge Sonia Sotomayor I was delighted to have the chance to see Judge Sotomayor, again. I have come to know her fairly well during her years of service on the Second Circuit, the Circuit covering Vermont, New York and Connecticut. I noted when my friend from New Hampshire announced his retirement how much I have admired Justice Souter's commitment to justice and the rule of law rather than to ideology. Like Justice Souter, Judge Sotomayor has a first-ra… Continue Reading


Leahy-Sotomayor Meeting Set For Tuesday June 1, 2009

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will meet with Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, on Tuesday, June 2, at 11:30 a.m., in Leahy's Washington, D.C., Senate office, room 433 of the Russell Senate Building. Photo-op at 11:30 a.m. Leahy (D-Vt.) will briefly comment after the meeting, at approximately 12:00 p.m., in room 432 of the Russell Senate Building. # # # # #… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces $39 Million In Economic Stimulus Funds for Statewide Clean Water Projects At St. Albans Press Conference

ST. ALBANS - Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch and a representative of Senator Patrick Leahy announced today the release of $39 million in economic stimulus funds during a press conference at the St. Albans Bay Village Pavilion. The grants and low-interest loans, to be distributed through the Environmental Protection Agency, will go to 41 wastewater clean-up projects and 42 drinking water projects throughout Vermont. The funds, which were made possible by the American Recovery and… Continue Reading


Vermont Nets $30 Million In Tax Credits From Economic Recovery Plan For Economic Development And Housing Initiatives

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says Vermont will receive $30 million under an innovative and proven economic development program - New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) - to spur economic growth and affordable housing in the state. The funds, included in the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will be formally announced by Secretary Timothy Geithner at Noon on Wednesday (today). Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, played a key role in incl… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sessions Release Sotomayor Questionnaire

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Wednesday released the bipartisan questionnaire the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked Judge Sonia Sotomayor to complete in connection with her nomination to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Once the questionnaire is completed and returned to the Committee, copies will be made available online and in print. # # # # #… Continue Reading


Comments On The President’s Nomination Of Sonia Sotomayor To The U.S. Supreme Court

While I was visiting with our troops in Afghanistan today, President Obama called to inform me that he will nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the next Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor has a long and distinguished career on the federal bench. She has been nominated by both Democratic and Republican presidents, and she was twice confirmed by the Senate with strong, bipartisan support. Her record is exemplary. Judge Sotomayor's nomination is an historic… Continue Reading


Senators Leahy, Bond Secure $500 Million To Address National Guard, Reserve Equipment Shortfalls

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus, announced that they have secured an additional $500 million to help the National Guard and Reserves address critical equipment shortfalls, in a budget bill passed by the Senate Thursday night. "Despite our best efforts to increase funding for the Guard and Reserves, they continue to face equipment shortfalls," Bond said. "The funding announced today will certainly help, but the fight t… Continue Reading


Canaan To Be New Home Of Border Patrol Station

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Friday that the Department of Homeland Security has chosen Canaan, Vermont, as the new home to a U.S. Border Patrol Station that will eventually accommodate 50 agents. The decision marks an end to a nearly two-year selection process that had narrowed the new site to either Canaan, Vermont, or Colebrook, New Hampshire. The new station would allow the Border Patrol… Continue Reading


Vermont And New Hampshire Senators Introduce Bill To Advance Conservation Along The Upper Connecticut River

The U.S. Senators from Vermont and New Hampshire have introduced the Upper Connecticut River Partnership Act of 2009, legislation that would help conserve the largest ecosystem in New England. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was joined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in introducing the bipartisan legislation late Thursday. The bill would authorize the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to give technical and financial help fo… Continue Reading


Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Awarded $440,000 Grant

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that Vermont will receive nearly $440,000 in federal grant funding to combat child exploitation through the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program. Leahy worked to include funding for the ICAC program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. Vermont's ICAC task force is based in the Burlington Police Department. The ICAC task forces across the country work collaboratively as a… Continue Reading


Statement On Closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility

Comments On The President's Plan For Guantanamo President Obama said in his campaign and he has repeated since the first days of his presidency that we must keep our Nation safe and secure, but we must do it in ways consistent with our values. Now that is a sentiment I share, and one that I voiced in hearings and statements for years as well. And to President Obama's credit and to the benefit of the Nation, he has worked since his first day in office to turn these words into action a… Continue Reading


Comment On President Obama’s Remarks On State Secrets

As President Obama pointed out today in his speech at the National Archives, "[w]e must not protect information merely because it reveals the violation of a law or embarrasses the government." The President today raised his own concerns that the state secrets privilege has been "over-used." He promised to embrace reform and to apply "a stricter legal test" to material before the government asserts the privilege and to report to Congress. I am encouraged by this new President's willingnes… Continue Reading

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