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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 7:50 EDT

Latest Patrick Leahy Stories

2005-12-16 20:18:36

By Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A group of U.S. senators, demanding increased protection of civil liberties, defied President George W. Bush on Friday by blocking renewal of the USA Patriot Act, a centerpiece of his war on terrorism. A showdown bid to end debate and move to passage of renewal legislation fell eight votes short of the needed 60 in the 100-member Senate. The vote was 52-47, with a handful of Republicans joining most Democrats in a procedural roadblock. Bush...

2005-12-16 12:52:58

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, demanding increased protection of civil liberties, defied President George W. Bush on Friday and blocked legislation to renew the USA Patriot Act, a centerpiece of his war on terrorism. On a Senate vote of 52-47, mostly Republican backers of the measure fell eight short of the needed 60 to end debate and move to passage of it. Proponents of the legislation warned that much of sweeping anti-terror law was to expire at the...

2005-12-07 19:22:03

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Democrats on Wednesday pushed for the Justice Department to release more documents about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito as some liberal advocacy groups prepared to come out against his nomination. "For us to remain on the proposed schedule for this nomination, we will need your promptest action on these suggestions," Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The...

2005-11-16 14:45:00

By Alan Elsner WASHINGTON -- Republicans in the U.S. Congress said on Wednesday they were moving ahead with legislation that would speed up executions in the United States by limiting the ability of those sentenced to death to appeal to federal courts. Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter said he intended to bring the so-called "Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005" to a vote on Thursday in the Judiciary Committee which he chairs. A similar bill is also moving forward in the House of Representatives...

2005-11-15 19:00:20

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Budget Committee leaders are seeking to further delay action on legislation to create a $140 billion fund to compensate asbestos victims, saying in a letter released on Tuesday that they are worried the program could run short of money. "There are potentially serious costs to federal taxpayers from this legislation," the committee's chairman, New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, and ranking Democrat, Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, said in a...

2005-11-03 19:55:53

By Joanne Kenen WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday brushed aside White House requests for an early hearing on Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito and scheduled hearings and a vote in January. "It simply wasn't possible to accommodate the schedule that the White House wanted: before Christmas. It just couldn't be done. We have to do it right. We can't do it fast," said Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican,...

2005-11-03 18:42:14

By Joanne Kenen WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Brushing aside White House requests for a vote on Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito before Christmas, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday scheduled hearings and a vote in January. "It simply wasn't possible to accommodate the schedule that the White House wanted: before Christmas. It just couldn't be done. We have to do it right. We can't do it fast," said Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican,...

2005-11-02 18:50:18

By Joanne Kenen WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A leading Senate Democrat on Wednesday questioned the independence of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito but several members of a key bipartisan group of senators praised the conservative judge. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said he was worried because right-wing groups had immediately embraced Alito after forcing President George W. Bush's prior nominee, Harriet Miers, to withdraw because they were...

2005-10-19 17:10:56

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Earlier this year, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers argued for an asbestos compensation fund favored by leaders of the Senate committee that will soon hold her confirmation hearing. In speeches on several occasions, Miers, the White House counsel, advocated legal reform policies championed by President Bush, including curbs to asbestos injury lawsuits. "We are grateful that Senator (Arlen) Specter has taken this (asbestos) issue up and is helping...

2005-10-19 14:08:27

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers was asked by the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to clarify some of the answers she provided this week in a questionnaire their panel sent to her. At a news conference, Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, ranking Democrat, described many of her written responses as "incomplete" and "insufficient." "Please prepare a supplement to your...