[U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after Senate Republicans objected to confirming the nomination of David Medine to serve as chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). The Senate confirmed four PCLOB nominees in August, but without its chairman the board cannot fully function. Medine's nomination was pending on the Senate calendar since May.]
"I am disappointed that Senate Republicans have refused to confirm David Medine to serve as chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). Congress established this board in the wake of the Nation's response to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, to protect Americans' privacy rights and civil liberties. The obstruction of a few Republican Senators leaves the American people without a fully functioning Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board at a time when Americans face growing threats to their privacy rights and civil liberties.
"We cannot afford further delay in fully restoring this critical board. This nomination has been pending in the Senate for more than a year. The Judiciary Committee favorably reported Mr. Medine's nomination last May. Without his confirmation, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board cannot operate at full strength and or carry out its important work. I encourage the President to promptly re-nominate Mr. Medine and I hope that the Senate will confirm him this year."