Incoming Judiciary chairman to defend privacy rights

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), perhaps more famous for his defense of the Vermont dairy industry and the Northeast Dairy Compact, is incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and says he’s going to be a privacy champion. A Reuters headline proclaimed: “Leahy vows to guard privacy rights.”

It may not be widely known that Sen. Leahy has been a supporter of civil liberties in relation to the war on terrorism for some time and pushed for the creation of a Civil Liberties Board to help strike a balance between security concerns and civil liberties. He also has defended the First Amendment in different contexts.

The senator has said that “. . . privacy rights belong to the people, not to the government.” That’s a good motto for this important campaign. (Maybe too he won’t have as much time to defend the egregious dairy program.)