The Senate Judiciary Committee will dedicate most of its time this spring to comprehensive immigration reform, says chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Legal Times reports. Leahy also said the committee will continue oversight of counterterrorism efforts and protecting civil liberties, including the administration’s use of drones abroad as well as in the United States.
First item on the agenda may be gun legislation proposed yesterday by the White House. The committee will also focus on promoting national standards and oversight for forensic labs and practitioners, as well as fiscal issues related to the high rate of imprisonment and mandatory minimum sentences, Leahy said. The reliance on mandatory minimum sentences has been “a great mistake,” Leahy said. “Let judges act as judges and make up their own mind what should be done. The idea we protect society by one size fits all [ ] just does not work in the real world.”