Senator Patrick Leahy [D-VT, chairman, US Senate Judiciary Committee]: "The protest by Pakistan's lawyers was an iconic moment about the importance of the rule of law, and the whole world was watching. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee I see every day the importance of an independent judiciary in our own country and in our system of government. We depend on our courts to defend the Constitution and to act as a check on the abuse of executive power. Without an independent judiciary we would not have a democracy. The people of Pakistan need an independent judiciary as much as we do."