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

06.25.15

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Texas Dept. Of Housing And Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project

[The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Thursday that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) authorizes a plaintiff to show that she was discriminated against based on a showing of "disparate impact." The FHA prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing. Every circuit court that has ruled on this issue has interpreted the statute to allow for a showing of discrimination based on disparate impact, which is an allegation that a law or practice has a discriminatory effect, even if it isn't based on a di… Continue Reading


06.25.15

Leahy Comments On Supreme Court's Decision On Obamacare (ACA)

[The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision Thursday, upheld the regulation issued by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service through which tax credits are made available for purchasers of health insurance through the federal exchange established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals had previously upheld the agencies' interpretation regarding tax credits, and the Supreme Court agreed that the ACA allows tax credits for purchasers of health ins… Continue Reading


06.24.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Introduction of the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015

This year marks the 50th anniversaries of the March from Selma to Montgomery and the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act. Passage of the Voting Rights Act was the result of the blood, sweat, and tears of so many brave Americans who marched for justice - and the decades-long work of countless other men and women committed to seeing our country live up to its promise of equality and justice for all. Their actions transformed our nation. On this 50th anniversary year, we pay special tribut… Continue Reading


06.24.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Changes to the Administration’s Family Detention Practices

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced changes to the administration's practice of detaining immigrant families and children. Senator Leahy has urged the administration to end its family detention policy, which was reinstated last summer in response to the increase in unaccompanied children and families arriving at the southern border.] "The practice of detain… Continue Reading


06.24.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

Earlier this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the PATENT Act with a strong, bipartisan vote. As the Senate continues to consider this important, balanced legislation aimed at curbing abusive patent litigation practices, it is critical that the court of appeals that considers patent claims be at full strength. Legislation alone cannot solve the problems facing main street businesses from abuses of the patent system; we also need dedicated judges, like Kara Farnandez Stoll, on the be… Continue Reading


06.24.15

Leahy, Durbin, Coons & House Tri-Caucus Leaders Introduce Legislation To Restore and Advance The Voting Rights Act

(Wednesday, June 24, 2015) - Two years since the Supreme Court gutted core protections in the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, states and localities throughout the country have passed sweeping laws that disproportionately suppress the voting rights of minorities. These laws have left voters without the protections they need to exercise their constitutional right to vote. To restore and advance the voting protections for all Americans, a group of Senate and House Democratic lawma… Continue Reading


06.24.15

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., author of the human rights conditions in U.S. law) on military aid for Colombia) To Human Rights Watch’s Report Today Implicating Top Colombian Army Officers In Atrocities

"I am deeply troubled by Human Rights Watch's report. It shows that as we provided billions of dollars in aid to the Colombian army over many years, its troops systematically executed civilians. Worse yet, the officers who were in charge have escaped justice, and some remain in senior positions of authority, without the United States or the Colombian government addressing the problem. "We received continual assurances from the Departments of State and Defense that the Colombian military was … Continue Reading


06.23.15

Senator Patrick Leahy Remarks for Center for Strategic and International Studies Addressing the Legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam

Thank you, John . Thank you for inviting me here. I also want to recognize Charles Bailey. Had it not been for Charles and his extraordinary work on Agent Orange at the Ford Foundation and since then, we would not be here today. That is no exaggeration. Le Ke Son has also been a leader on the Vietnamese side, and I appreciate and thank him for everything he has done on this issue. I first became involved on issues of people with disabilities in Vietnam when George H.W. Bush was president.… Continue Reading


06.23.15

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On His Vote Against Cloture On The Fast-Track Trade Promotion Authority

[The Senate Tuesday voted to advance fast-track trade promotion authority by a vote of 60-37. A final vote on the measure is expected Wednesday. Leahy opposed the procedural vote, and will oppose final passage. He cast the same vote on a similar measure last month.] "Congress has a role to play in ensuring that free trade is fair trade. Fast-track authority abandons this role, giving carte blanche to the Executive Branch to negotiate trade agreements without any assurances of protections fo… Continue Reading


06.22.15

Leahy Kicks Off Vermont Launch Of Patent Pro Bono Program

BURLINGTON, Vt. (MONDAY, June 22, 2015) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced a new form of assistance for small businesses and startups at the launch of the Vermont Patent Pro Bono Program. The event, at the Burlington Generator in downtown Burlington, was held in conjunction with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, and the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts. The P… Continue Reading


06.19.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Iraq War’s Impact On Current National Security Threats

MR. LEAHY. We have the benefit of looking through the lens of history to learn from past mistakes in the hopes of making more informed decisions for the future. No example is more relevant today than the unintended effects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and their bearing on the threats of today. I opposed that war from the beginning, and we have paid, and continue to pay, a tremendous price -- in American lives, in the unfathomable expense of taxpayer dollars, and in the escalation of strife in t… Continue Reading


06.19.15

Leahy: $1.1 Million Grant Will Support Micro-Grants To Spawn Efforts By Groups Across The Champlain Basin

BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, June 19, 2015) - Standing on the shores of Lake Champlain, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and local officials Friday announced the availability of $1.1 million to be provided in small Local Implementation Grants to prevent pollution, support cultural heritage and encourage educational outreach relating to Lake Champlain and its watershed. The Lake Chaplain Basin Program will use the federal funds to distribute grants to up to 100 small watershed groups, schools, towns an… Continue Reading


06.19.15

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, To Recognize World Refugee Day

The United States has long been a safe and welcoming home for those fleeing persecution around the world. The refugees and asylum seekers who join our communities help to create new businesses, build more vibrant neighborhoods, and enrich us all. They are also a reminder of our history as a nation of immigrants and our American values of generosity and compassion. Saturday marks World Refugee Day, and to honor it we must renew our commitment to the ideal of America as a beacon of hope for so … Continue Reading


06.18.15

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Tragedy In Charleston, South Carolina

"Like all Americans, Marcelle and I are shaken by the horrific tragedy in Charleston. We all deserve to feel safe regardless of who we are, who we love, or what religion we choose to practice. Our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving families and parishioners whose right to feel safe in their community and their place of worship was taken from them yesterday. "I appreciate the swift engagement by the Department of Justice to monitor the situation and to assist in any way possible. To… Continue Reading


06.18.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Pope Francis’ Encyclical On Climate Change

The Pope's message to the world, and to world leaders, has a justified edge of urgency. He is shining a clear and purposeful beacon on an unfolding crisis that will only worsen the longer that it is ignored or minimized. He invokes the responsibility that all of us have for sound and respectful stewardship over this beautiful and delicate planet that has been entrusted to us. He makes clear that the choices we make have profound moral, practical, and perhaps even existential implications. T… Continue Reading


06.18.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Recent Developments in Egypt United States Senator Floor

Mr. President, last week Egyptian government investigators working on behalf of a judge who is overseeing a four-year-old case against international and Egyptian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) visited the main office of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, or CIHRS, and asked for registration and financial documents. The investigators reportedly tried to pass off an informal search warrant as legal cover, but CIHRS staff made clear they couldn't search the office without an offic… Continue Reading


06.16.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, In Support of the McCain-Feinstein Anti-Torture Amendment No. 1889

Congress has some unfinished business before it. When the President took office, he issued an executive order banning torture. It is regrettable that such a step was even necessary for a country that has been a signatory to the Convention Against Torture since 1988, more than 25 years ago. But it was the right thing for the President to do and consistent with our values as Americans. In particular, the President ordered that all U.S. government personnel and contractors must comply with the … Continue Reading


06.12.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Appointment Of Jamie Hathaway As CEO Of Make-A-Wish Vermont

"Jamie doesn't do anything half way. As I've seen from our work together against landmines, he's an all-in partner. Jamie is one of those rare people who has devoted the better part of his professional life to helping people who are less fortunate. His positive spirit is contagious. His longtime dedication to social justice issues - from his work at Clear Path International aiding innocent victims of landmines and other weapons of war, to animal welfare efforts at the Orvis Company -- has in… Continue Reading


06.11.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision in al Bahlul v. United States

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Friday after the D.C. Circuit held that conspiracy charges cannot be tried in a military commission because conspiracy is not a war crime.] "The D.C. Circuit's decision in the al Bahlul case underscores what so many of us have been saying for years: America stands on stronger legal and moral ground when we use our Federal courts to try terrorists for their crimes. The Justice Department has succes… Continue Reading


06.11.15

Leahy: Senate Should Have Full, Open Debate On Nation’s Cybersecurity

(Thursday, June 11, 2015) - Cybersecurity legislation should be considered in an open and transparent manner on the Senate floor for all members to debate, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Thursday. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act reported by the Senate Intelligence Committee includes provisions affecting Americans' privacy rights and government transparency. And while the bill has been pending before the Senate for months, Republican leaders are j… Continue Reading

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