Press Room

Press Releases

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


Hearing on Judicial Nominations

(Thursday, May 1, 2008) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today held a hearing today for three judicial nominations, including a nominee to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The hearing was the sixth nominations hearing of the session, and the fourth for judicial nominations. The Senate this year has confirmed five judicial nominations, including one to fill the final vacancy on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Three nominations are pending on the Senate's executive calendar. On Wednesday, … Continue Reading


Vermont’s Congressional Delegation Presses FTC To Use Its New Mandate To Police Oil Price Gouging

(Wednesday, April 30) - The Vermont Congressional Delegation - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) - Wednesday asked the Federal Trade Commission to use new authority Congress has given the agency to protect consumers from price gouging as gasoline prices continue to escalate. Leahy, Sanders and Welch cite a new mandate to protect consumers from oil price manipulation, added by Congress in an energy policy bill enacted last Decemb… Continue Reading


Hearing On

I thank Senator Feingold for holding this important hearing. To paraphrase James Madison, if men were angels we would need no laws. We are not angels, and our government needs laws to guide its actions. But laws that are created, defined, or interpreted in secret might as well not exist. Secret law is not a check on the government; when law is kept secret, the rule of law suffers. This administration has, for years, set out to shield itself from constraint and accountability by employing un… Continue Reading


The Consideration Of A Senate Resolution

(Wednesday, April 30, 2008) - The Senate tonight unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that John McCain, a U.S. Senator from Arizona currently serving his fourth term in the Senate, is eligible to run for President of the United States. McCain is the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidency. McCain was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 to American citizens. In February, The New York Times published a report calling … Continue Reading


Leahy Notices Hearing For Two Circuit Nominees

(Wednesday, April 30, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today noticed a hearing for three judicial nominees, including two circuit court nominees to fill the final vacancies on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The hearing will be held Wednesday, May 7. The Committee will consider the nominations of Judge Helene White and Raymond Kethledge to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the nomination of Steven Murphy for a seat in the Eastern District of Michigan.… Continue Reading


Hearing On "Living On The Street: Finding Solutions To Protect Runaway And Homeless Youth"

(Tuesday, April 29, 2008) - The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing today focusing on the problems facing runaway and homeless youth in urban and rural communities across the country. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) presided at the hearing featuring an expert panel of witnesses, including a two-time Oscar nominated actor and two representatives from Spectrum Youth and Family Services, a non-profit organization located in Leahy's home state of Vermont. Leahy invited Academy Award nominee D… Continue Reading


S. 2829, A bill To Make Technical Corrections To Section 1244 Of The National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2008

I am pleased to join the bipartisan group of Senators on this bill who all recognize our obligation to help those Iraqis who have assisted the United States in Iraq. This legislation will remove obstacles encountered by the Departments of State and Homeland Security in issuing the 5000 Special Visas that Congress authorized in January for those Iraqi citizens. As part of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress provided 5000 Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis who had aided the Uni… Continue Reading


The Introduction Of A Resolution To Honor The Sacrifices Made By The Men And Women Who Serve As Law Enforcement Officers

(Monday, April 28, 2008) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy today introduced a resolution honoring law enforcement officers across the country for their hard work and sacrifice while keeping the public safe. The resolution designates May 15, 2008, as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and urges Congress to continue supporting the nation's law enforcement officers and the initiatives that keep law enforcement officers safe. More than 181 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2007, the mos… Continue Reading


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

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