Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Jul 19th, 2010 :: 0:12:40 to 0:19:30
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Patrick Leahy

0:12:36 to 0:12:57( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: the clerk: calendar number 460, h.r. 2765, an act to amend title 28, united states code, to prohibit recognition and enforcement of foreign defamation judgments and certain foreign judgments against the providers of interactive couter services. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will procee mr. leahy: mr. president, i ask

Patrick Leahy

0:12:40 to 0:19:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Patrick Leahy

Patrick Leahy

0:12:58 to 0:13:23( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: unanimous consent that the committee-reported substitute amendment be agreed to, the bill, as amended, be read a third time and passed, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, and any statements related to the bill be placed in the record at the approiate place as if read. the presiding officer: without

Patrick Leahy

0:13:24 to 0:13:44( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: objection. mr. leahy: and i ask mr. president, you know, today the senate has passed important bipartisan legislation to reduce the chilling effect that foreign

Patrick Leahy

0:13:45 to 0:14:07( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: libel lawsuits are having on america's first amendment rights. i'm the son of printers and i consider this matter of great importance. my parents told me from the time i was a child, believe and uphold the first amendment.

Patrick Leahy

0:14:08 to 0:14:29( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: it's the basis of our democracy. guarantees us the right to practice any religion we want or none if we want, and it protects the right of free speech. those protections guarantee diversity, and if you have a constitution that guarantees diversity, you guarantee a democracy. and that's what this does.

Patrick Leahy

0:14:30 to 0:14:50( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i want to thank senator sessions, the ranking member of the senate judiciary committee, for working with me on this bill. let me speak a little bit about what the bill does, mr. president. the securing the protection of our euring and constitutional

Patrick Leahy

0:14:51 to 0:15:12( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: heritage act, as we call it the "speech" act, will ensure that american courts will not enforce foreign libel judgments on countries with free speech alexs allure from what our constition affords. too frequently, foreign plaintiffs bring libel suits

Patrick Leahy

0:15:13 to 0:15:33( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: against american writers and publishers in countries where the plaintiff or the publication lacks any significant connections with foreign forum. the lawsuit is brought there because that foreign country's weeker plaintiff-friendly libel laws. it's known as libel tourism.

Patrick Leahy

0:15:34 to 0:15:56( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: in other words, if somebody in the united states writes a book, very accurate, about some despot or some leader of a country who has done criminal acts, has stolen the property of their country, or any one of a

Patrick Leahy

0:15:57 to 0:16:18( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: of things, it can be very, very accurate and in our country, truth is a defense. what they'll go is maybe order online a couple copies of the books and deliver them to another country with weak libel laws and then seek judgments against the author, against the publisher, against newspapers

Patrick Leahy

0:16:19 to 0:16:39( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: that may have published excerpts of it. everything to chill -- to chill -- any criticism of those who have either breached human rights or stolen from their own country and on and on. libel tourism really results in a race to the bottom.

Patrick Leahy

0:16:40 to 0:17:01( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: it can cause americans to defer to the country with the most chilng and restrictive free speech standard to determine what they can write or publish. this undermines our first amendment. the first amendment that i said earlier guarantees the diversity diversity, thought, and opinion in this country which actually

Patrick Leahy

0:17:02 to 0:17:23( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: allows and determines and guarantees our democracy. several states, to their credit, have enacted legislation to combat this problem. we need a national response. we can't legislate changes to foreign laws that are

Patrick Leahy

0:17:24 to 0:17:45( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: protect the speech in our country. we can ensure that our courts do not become a tool to uphold foreign libel judgments that undermine american first american -- due process rights. the speech a is an important step towards reducing this chilling of american free speech.

Patrick Leahy

0:17:46 to 0:18:08( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: americans have a great gift in their right of free speech. mr. president, every single senator, republican and democratic, should join, as we have in this case, to protect america's rights. the speech ac product of hard work, extensive negotiations on both sides of the aisle -- on both sides of

Patrick Leahy

0:18:09 to 0:18:29( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: the aisle -- and the process -- i'm certainly mindful about principles of international comity. many supporters would not have written this bill in its exact way but all recognize our bipartisan compromise as an important step in confronting the libel tourism issue. without it, we could not pass this bill.

Patrick Leahy

0:18:30 to 0:18:51( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i want to thank senators specter, schumer, and lieberman for their work in raising this important issue in the senate, and representative cohen for his hard work on libel tourism legislation in the other body. i'm pleased the senate will adopt -- has bipartisan legislation. i look forward its prompt

Patrick Leahy

0:18:52 to 0:19:15( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: consideration and adoption by the house and to the president signing it into law. mr. president, i'd ask consent that my whole statement be made part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy mr. president, i do not see anybody else seeking recognition, so i the the presiding officer: the

Patrick Leahy

0:19:16 to 0:19:21( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: clerk will call the roll.

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