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Press Releases

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

05.21.14

SJC Chairman Leahy Chairs FBI Oversight Hearing

(Wednesday, May 21, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing an oversight hearing this morning of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Director James Comey is testifying before the panel for his first oversight hearing since he became the Bureau's new director last year. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Oversight O… Continue Reading


05.19.14

President Announces Intention To Nominate Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford For Vermont’s Upcoming U.S. District Court Vacancy

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday said that President Obama will nominate Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford to be the next judge on Vermont's U.S. District Court. Leahy had recommended Justice Crawford in March to the White House, after screening by a nine-member nonpartisan Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission. Justice Crawford had been one of the panel's two finalists, who then were interviewed by Leahy. Leahy said, "The President sees in Justice Crawford what I, … Continue Reading


05.19.14

Mettawee Community School

On May 19, Senator Leahy held his fourth online chat of 2014 with 30 4th and 5th grade students from the Mettawee Community School of West Pawlet. The students questions ranged from addressing the Senator's work in securing bulletproof vests for law enforcement in Vermont to the Senator's thoughts on gun control. The Senator also spoke about his love of fishing and photography and his home on a tree farm in Vermont.… Continue Reading


05.19.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Proposed Merger of AT&T and DirecTV

"DirecTV is a nationwide competitor with cable and plays an important role in providing television service to rural areas like Vermont. With this latest proposed merger, I am concerned that the telecommunications marketplace is trending even further toward one that favors big companies over consumers. I will closely monitor the FCC and the antitrust authorities' response to this announcement. The Senate Judiciary Committee will be looking closely at this transaction." # # # # #… Continue Reading


05.16.14

U.S. Energy Secretary Addresses Vermont Energy Summit

MIDDLEBURY, Vt., May 16 - U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spoke at a Vermont Energy Summit today as part of a first-hand look at how Vermont is on the cutting edge of transforming its energy systems from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. In remarks at Middlebury College, Moniz focused on the need to reduce the cost of clean energy. Vermont, he added, "really looks unique" in terms of public and private cooperation on energy issues. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) an… Continue Reading


05.15.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Proposed Net Neutrality Rules

"Paid arrangements between broadband providers and websites do not reflect open Internet principles and I will not support any effort by the FCC to condone those kinds of agreements. The very essence of net neutrality is that a better idea or service should be allowed to succeed on its merits and not have to pay tolls to reach potential customers. Rules allowing pay-to-play deals would also harm consumers, who could no longer be confident that the Internet speeds they pay for are sufficient to… Continue Reading


05.15.14

Leahy Announces June 3 Hearing On Constitutional Amendment To Rein In Massive Campaign Spending

(Thursday, May 15, 2014) -The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next month on a constitutional amendment in response to the Supreme Court's decisions regarding campaign finance and money in politics, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday. The hearing comes on the heels of the Court's McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission decision, in which five justices reversed long-standing precedent and declared aggregate limits on campaign contributions in elections to be uncons… Continue Reading


05.14.14

Leahy Sets Judiciary Committee Field Hg. In Vermont On NET NEUTRALITY –

"I have heard from hundreds of Vermonters who have expressed concerns about aspects of Chairman Wheeler's proposed approach to new net neutrality rules and I share their concerns. I am still waiting to see the full details of this proposal, but I also believe it is critical to highlight the importance of ensuring that the Internet remains an open marketplace for ideas. I intend to hold a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Vermont the first week in July to examine the impact of open Internet… Continue Reading


05.14.14

FBI Director Comey To Appear Before SJC Next Week

(Wednesday, May 14, 2014) - FBI Director James Comey will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing on Wednesday, May 21, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced on Wednesday. The oversight hearing will be one week after National Police Week, and at a time when the Committee is working on many issues important to law enforcement agencies including cybersecurity, the use of forensic evidence and support of victim services through the Justice for All Act. Comey last a… Continue Reading


05.14.14

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

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations May 14, 2014 This week, we are voting to overcome Republican filibusters of seven highly qualified judicial nominees. Every single one of the nominees we will be voting on this week has been nominated to fill a judicial emergency vacancy. This means that the non-partisan Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has designated them as emergency vacancies due to high caseloads. We con… Continue Reading


05.14.14

WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF CHIEF MICHAEL E. SCHIRLING CHIEF OF POLICE - BURLINGTON, VT POLICE DEPARTMENT SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY BULLET PROOF VEST PARTNERSHIP FUNDING

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: I have the privilege of serving as the Chief of Police in Burlington, VT. Burlington is a community of approximately 40,000, located on the eastern shores of Lake Champlain about 35 miles south of the Canadian border. It is the central hub of activity, commerce, and services for northwestern Vermont, which encompasses a population of approximately 150,000 residents. We have a 149-year history of providing law enforcement services to Vermont's larges… Continue Reading


05.14.14

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Life-Saving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program

(Wednesday, May 14, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning titled "The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program: Supporting Law Enforcement Officers When it Matters Most." Leahy is the author of legislation to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Grant Partnership Program, a life-saving program whose charter expired in 2012. Today's hearing coincides with National Police Week. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing … Continue Reading


05.14.14

Lake Champlain Funds Secured By Leahy Spawn Innovative Sea Lamprey Barrier

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced the opening of an innovative sea lamprey barrier on Morpion Creek, a tributary of the Pike River in Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, Quebec. The barrier will address one of the largest uncontrolled populations of sea lamprey in the Lake Champlain Basin. Leahy worked to secure nearly $1.3 million for the barrier through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC). The barrier represents a unique international partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlif… Continue Reading


05.13.14

Stowe Student Council at Stowe Elementary School

On May 13, Senator Leahy held his 10th online chat with Stowe Elementary School. Senator Leahy enjoyed an engaging conversation with both the students and teachers in the classroom. The conversation focused his work to make college education more affordable for students and a discussion of some of the most difficult decisions he has had to make as a United States Senator. The students even discussed the Senator's most recent experience on the set of the new Batman movie.… Continue Reading


05.09.14

WWII Aviator And Vermont Native Bert Smith Finally Receives His Long-Delayed Service Medals

(FRIDAY, May 9, 2014) -- A 90-year-old Vermont native now has his long-delayed medals from his service as an aviator in World War II. Bert Smith, accompanied by family members, met with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday in Leahy's office in the U.S. Capitol for a quiet visit to receive the medals from Leahy, the Senate's President Pro Tempore. He was accompanied by his daughter Maureen Barnes and her husband Gary, of South Burlington and Florida, and their son Tyler Barnes, of South Burli… Continue Reading


05.09.14

Leahy Announces $230,000 For ('Great') Lake Champlain

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced $230,000 in Sea Grant funding to the University of Vermont for research and management of fisheries, water quality, invasive species control and other efforts for Lake Champlain and its surrounding watershed. The funding is the latest installment made possible because of the status Lake Champlain now has within the Sea Grant Program, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Leahy memorably fought and won his battle in 1998 t… Continue Reading


05.08.14

Senate Makes Progress To Fill Judicial Vacancies

(Thursday, May 8, 2014) - The Senate confirmed three district court nominees on Thursday, the same day the Judiciary Committee reported four nominees to fill emergency vacancies to the floor. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised the Senate's progress on judicial nominations at a time when Republicans routinely demand procedural votes on even the most noncontroversial nominees. "From day one of this President's time in office, Senate Republicans have obstructed and slowed the confirmation proc… Continue Reading


05.08.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of David Barron to Serve on the First Circuit Court of Appeals

"Earlier today, the Ranking Member requested that the administration provide materials relating to Anwar Al-Awlaki so that all Senators would be able to properly evaluate Mr. Barron's nomination. The administration has now made available unredacted copies of any memo issued by Mr. Barron regarding the potential use of lethal force against Anwar Al-Awlaki. I hope and expect that all Senators will review these materials today." # # # # #… Continue Reading


05.08.14

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

Today, we are again voting to overcome Republican filibusters of four highly qualified judicial nominees. The nominees are Judge Robin Rosenbaum to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit; Indira Talwani to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts; James Peterson to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin; and Nancy Rosenstengel to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. Distr… Continue Reading


05.08.14

Police Officer Saved By Bulletproof Vest To Testify Before SJC Next Week

(Thursday, May 8, 2014) - A female police officer whose life was saved because she was wearing a bulletproof vest will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday. Officer Ann Carrizales of the Stafford, Texas, Police Department was shot twice during a routine traffic stop last year. One shot grazed her face and the other struck her chest and was blocked by her protective vest. Carrizales heroically pursued the suspects in her squ… Continue Reading

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