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Sen. Patrick Leahy

04/04/08 12:00PM By Bob Kinzel
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AP Photo/Toby Talbot
Sen. Patrick Leahy

Senator Patrick Leahy has been fighting Homeland Security over REAL-ID, the new rules for crossing the Canadian border and a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 91 in Hartford. Next time on Vermont Edition, Bob Kinzel talks with Senator Leahy about these issues, our relationship with China and the ongoing Democratic presidential race. (Listen)

Also in the program, VPR's John Dillon analyzes the top stories of the week. (Listen)

And we listen back to some of the voices in the news. (Listen)


Listener comments for Sen. Leahy:

Scott in Calais:
[What are] of prospects for getting the U.S. to negotiate a Schengen-type treaty with Canada? It seems to me that if more than two dozen European countries (some of them historic enemies) can agree to open their borders to one other while controlling foreign visitors at the port of entry into the open-border zone, it ought to be a piece of cake for two countries as closely connected as the U.S. and Canada to put together such an arrangement.

Listener named James:
My question for Sen. Leahy is in regards to his plan or strategy for 2009. Does he have any plans to reevaluate the powers that the administration has been consolidating over the past five years? Specifically the Patriot Act, F.I.S.A. and the Insurrection Act. Ultimately I do not believe that Americans understand exactly what freedoms or rights have been lessoned or out right stripped away from them.

Les from Brattleboro:
This checkpoint idea seems consistent with President Bush's slew of executive orders and signing statements that essentially have made the Constitution of the US meaningless, and that allow President Bush to arbitrarily declare marshal law at any point he suits him, without offering a single reason. How do you think the incoming new president, whoever it is, should treat these executive orders and signing statements? Should the new president make a point of sifting through these orders and signing statements with a view to reestablishing the Constitution of the US as the predominant legal authority in this country, as opposed to the current situation in which President Bush now serves as the sole arbiter of this nation's laws?

David in Jericho:
The setting up of a permanent checkpoint in Vermont reminds me of the time when a similar check point was set up just north of Key West in the 1980's. The folks in Key West starting suggesting that they were being treated like a
foreign country and declared themselves to be the "Conch Republic." Maybe it is time for us to once again be the Republic of Vermont!

John in Middlebury:
[Does] Sen. Leahy intend to prevent the Bush administration from attacking Iran? {Scott] Ritter, in a talk at Middlebury College Tuesday night, flatly stated that Bush is ramping up plans for such an attack and is almost certain to initiate hostilities before summer - maybe as soon as this month. He based his prediction on the ordering of bunker busting bombs and other material to be delivered this month. He also suggested that [Vice President Dick] Cheney's trip to the Middle East was directly linked to preparing our allies for such an attack.

John in Richmond:
I was curious if Senator Leahy could comment briefly on his opinion regarding the necessity of Congressional involvement in the Major League Baseball steroids investigation. Does he feel this involvement is necessary at present given the more urgent tasks at hand?



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