Leahy Critical of Mandatory Minimum Sentences, Drones

A welcome ray of civil libertarianism in the Senate


The longest-serving Democrat in the Senate on Wednesday called for scrapping mandatory minimum sentences at both the federal and state levels, and said he wants Congress to take a critical look at the way U.S. law enforcement agencies use drones.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy also said his major priority for the beginning of the new Congress will be overhauling immigration laws, and he announced hearings next month — adding momentum to an issue that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already identified as the top priority.