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

05.18.16

Continuing Leahy’s Current String Of Bipartisan Successes, Senate Passes Bill By Leahy And Cornyn To Help Local Law Enforcement and Medical Agencies Train And Better Prepare For Active Shooter Situations

(WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2016) -- The Senate Wednesday unanimously passed the POLICE Act, a bipartisan bill by U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) to allow law enforcement officers in Vermont and across the country to use federal grant funds to train and better prepare for active shooter situations. The bill's approval comes in the midst of National Police Week and just two days after President Obama signed Leahy's legislation reauthorizing Leahy's lifesaving and time-teste… Continue Reading


05.18.16

At Public Meeting, Former Colleagues & Legal Experts Describe Chief Judge Garland as a Committed Jurist, Devoted Public Servant

(Wednesday, May 18, 2016) - At a public meeting Wednesday led by Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over judicial nominations including nominations to the Supreme Court, former colleagues of Chief Judge Merrick Garland described the Supreme Court nominee as a dedicated jurist whose strong character and exemplary career in public service deserved broad bipartisan support. Donna Bucella, who worked with Garland as a prosecutor during the Oklahoma City bom… Continue Reading


05.18.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Public Meeting to Discuss Qualifications of Merrick Garland To Serve on the Supreme Court of the United States

This morning, Chairman Grassley convened a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. The glaring omission from that hearing was Chief Judge Merrick Garland. It has been more than two months since he was nominated to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. If not for unprecedented Republican obstruction, Judge Garland would have already had a public hearing, and we would be poised to report him out of Committee. Instead, his record is being smeared by outside groups, while Senate Republ… Continue Reading


05.18.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supplemental Funding to Combat the Zika Virus U.S. Senate Floor

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to speak in support of the Blunt-Murray-Graham-Leahy amendment, which provides $1.1 billion in emergency funding to combat the Zika virus. The map of the United States beside me beside me shows the Centers for Disease Control's estimate of the range of the two types of mosquito that may spread Zika. As you can see, this public health emergency is not in some far-off land. It could easily end up in the backyards of tens of millions of Americans. Before I dis… Continue Reading


05.17.16

Senate Democrats To Host Public Meeting TOMORROW To Hear From Those Who Know Chief Judge Garland

(Tuesday, May 17, 2016) - Senate Republicans continue to refuse to do their job and consider Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, leaving the High Court with just eight justices. The result is a Supreme Court that cannot operate at full strength, unable to resolve important cases affecting millions of Americans. In an editorial Tuesday, the New York Times wrote "Every day that passes without a ninth justice undermines the Supreme Court's ability to function, and leaves millions of American… Continue Reading


05.17.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Today is the 62nd anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which reaffirmed our Nation's commitment to justice and equality by ending racial segregation in our public schools. The unanimous Court overruled one of its worst precedents in Plessy v. Ferguson and held that "in the field of public education, the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." For generations the Brown v. Board deci… Continue Reading


05.17.16

Senate Judiciary Dems To Meet THIS WEEK To Discuss Chief Judge Garland’s Qualifications To Serve On The Supreme Court

(Monday, May 16, 2016) - While Senate Republicans continue their unprecedented obstruction of granting Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing and a vote, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats will meet this week for a public meeting to hear from some of those who know the nominee personally and can speak to his lengthy public service career. During the meeting, on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in Dirksen 562, Senators will ask invited speakers who know Garland about his qualifications to serv… Continue Reading


05.16.16

Senate Republicans Allow Confirmation Vote On Single Judicial Nominee While Holding Up Dozens More

(Monday, May 16, 2016) - While Senate Republicans finally allowed a vote on the nomination of Paula Xinis to fill a judicial emergency vacancy in Maryland, dozens of judicial nominees-including a Supreme Court nominee-are being held up due to partisan obstruction. As a result, Americans are finding it more difficult to seek justice in our courts, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Monday. "Because of Republican obstruction, our independent judiciary is struggl… Continue Reading


05.16.16

Continuing The String Of Bipartisan Wins Under Leahy’s M.O. Of Building Coalitions, President Today Signs Leahy-Authored Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program

Continuing The String Of Bipartisan Wins Under Leahy's M.O. Of Building Coalitions, President Today Signs Leahy-Authored Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program WASHINGTON (MONDAY, May 16, 2016) - At a White House ceremony awarding 13 law enforcement officers the Medal of Valor, the nation's highest honor for law enforcement officers, President Obama Monday announced he has signed Senator Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) legislation reauthorizing his lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Prog… Continue Reading


05.16.16

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decisions In Zubik v. Burwell and Spokeo v. Robbins

[On Monday, the eight justices of the Supreme Court were unable to come to a final decision on the merits in two separate cases. In Zubik v. Burwell, involving an administrative accommodation to the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act for religiously affiliated nonprofits, the Court remanded the case to the lower courts for further consideration, explicitly expressing "no view on the merits of the cases." In Spokeo v. Robbins, the Court failed to reach the key question in the case… Continue Reading


05.12.16

Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Authored Bills To Improve Criminal Justice System, Support Police In Active Shooter Situations

(THURSDAY, May 12, 2016) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved two bipartisan bills coauthored by Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to support law enforcement and improve the criminal justice system. The panel's action comes just two days after the House of Representatives approved another Leahy bill to reauthorize his Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program another five years. The POLICE Act approved by the Judiciary Committee Thursday is bipartisan legislation that allows… Continue Reading


05.12.16

A Key Win Thursday As Leahy Leads Fight To Preserve Investment Incentive Program for NEK, Franklin, Lamoille Counties

(THURSDAY, May 12, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday applauded the Senate's action to advance a key spending bill that provides critical funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), a program that has delivered more than $2.8 million in federal grants to Vermont's Northeast Kingdom and $3.4 million in total to Vermont. With Leahy's leadership earlier in the debate, the Senate blocked a move by a Republican senator to strike all funding for the program and others like… Continue Reading


05.11.16

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Need To Schedule A Confirmation Hearing For Chief Judge Merrick Garland, Nominee To Be Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court Of The United States

"Today Chairman Grassley noticed a confirmation hearing for judicial nominations to take place in the Judiciary Committee next week. Missing from the list of nominees called to testify is Chief Judge Garland, who this week submitted to the Committee an updated questionnaire for his nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. That was an important next step in the confirmation process. Despite the Republicans' obstruction up to this point, there is more than enough time for Senators … Continue Reading


05.11.16

Capping Years Of Work To Overcome Congressional Obstruction, Leahy’s Bill To Renew His Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program Passes House; President Will Sign It

(WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2016) - The long-expired Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is finally being extended after years of delay. The House passed the bill Tuesday night, months after the Senate passed it last year. On Tuesday night the House of Representatives unanimously approved Leahy's bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the matching grant program, which has issued more than 1.2 million lifesaving vests to state and local law enforcement o… Continue Reading


05.10.16

Senate Republicans Have Not Confirmed A Single Judicial Nominee In Over A Month

(Tuesday, May 10, 2016) - Senate Republicans, who are refusing to hold a hearing and a vote for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, once again blocked from confirmation 11 federal district court nominees who would fill vacancies in courts throughout the country. Partisan obstruction of the federal judiciary has led to an increase in judicial vacancies, which today stand at 81-sharply up from 43 when Republicans took control of the Senate last year. To address this looming vacancy crisis, S… Continue Reading


05.10.16

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Questionnaire Submitted by Chief Judge Merrick Garland, Nominee To Be Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court Of The United States

"Chief Judge Garland has provided the Senate Judiciary Committee an updated questionnaire. He has done his part, and now it is time for the Senate Judiciary Committee to do its job by promptly reviewing the nominee's record and scheduling a public confirmation hearing. I and my staff have begun reviewing Chief Judge Garland's materials, and I expect Committee Republicans to do the same. "A nominee to the highest court in the land deserves a full, fair, and public hearing, as the Senate has d… Continue Reading


05.10.16

Ahead of Expiration, Leahy Calls For Reforms to FISA Amendments Act

(Tuesday, May 10, 2016) -The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long worked to add greater transparency and oversight to the surveillance authorities under the FAA, and he included transparency reforms in the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act that was signed into law last year. Member statements, witness testimony, and a webcast of today's hearing are available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), … Continue Reading


05.06.16

Leahy, Sanders, Welch And Shumlin Welcome U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx To Vermont

As Major Grant Goes Forward To Improve Rail Service Across Vermont's Western Corridor BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, May 6, 2016) - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Governor Peter Shumlin Friday gathered in front of Union Station in Burlington to celebrate progress made to restore passenger rail service to the iconic stop by Lake Champlain and improve freight service a… Continue Reading


05.02.16

Today In Burlington, Leahy And Booker Host Discussion On Criminal Justice Reform

BURLINGTON, Vt. (MONDAY, May 2, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday was joined by Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in Burlington to host a roundtable discussion on their efforts to pass criminal justice reform. Leahy and Booker are at the core of a bipartisan movement on Capitol Hill to forge and enact long-overdue reforms of the criminal justice system. Their efforts led in part to the announcement last week of new cosponsors to the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which… Continue Reading


05.02.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT A Conversation on Criminal Justice Reform: New Approaches for Vermont and the Nation

Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us today for this important conversation. I am proud to welcome my friend Senator Booker here to discuss criminal justice reform and to hear about what is working right here in Vermont. Thanks also to our panelists and guests. Many of you labor every day to strengthen our communities, lessen our reliance on jails, and support those who are reentering society. Criminal justice reform is not a new conversation in Vermont. We are marking the 20th anniversa… Continue Reading

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