Judiciary Chairman Leahy, the Committee’s Priorities

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) gave an overview of his priorities for the Senate Judiciary Committee in remarks at the Georgetown University Law Center yesterday, “Restoring Trust in the Justice System: The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Agenda In The 111th Congress.” The news was his talk about about “a reconciliation process and truth commission” targeting the Bush Administration, prompting a question and cool response at President Obama’s news conference.

Leahy also spoke about judicial appointments and confirmations and mentioned, in a paragraph, other items on the committee’s list of possible actions that would have a more direct impact on the manufacturing economy:

The Judiciary Committee has a full docket with matters ranging from review of expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act, and reforming our patent laws in order to help revitalize our economic engine, to passing personal data protection legislation and strengthening our anti-corruption and anti-fraud laws. I hope that this year we can also strengthen penalties for violent crimes motivated by prejudice and hate. The President has already moved to increase transparency in government, but we can make even greater improvements to the Freedom of Information Act, and we may finally be able enact a media shield law. These are all issues that you will be hearing about in the days, weeks and months ahead.

All legit, although…the media shield? Granted, editorial page writers and First Amendment absolutists are het up about the issue, but is the public demanding legislation that could undermine the protection of intellectual property and economic growth?

We wrote about the media shield a lot in 2008.

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