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Bill Naming Federal Courthouse After Sen. Orrin Hatch Sent To President

A flag flies in front of the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Lawmakers sent a bill to President Donald Trump that will rename the federal courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City in honor of retired former Senator Orrin Hatch.

The bill unanimously passed the Senate on November 17 and the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon. President Trump is expected to sign the bill.

Senator Hatch released a statement that said he was humbled and surprised.

“I understand that many of my friends, both here in Utah and across the country, went to great lengths to make it happen,” the statement read.

He thanked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, Utah Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, and outgoing representative Ben McAdams “who worked tirelessly behind the scenes—as only he could—to put this bill on Speaker Pelosi’s radar. I’d like to thank them and all members of the Utah House delegation for this incredibly kind gesture. I’d also like to thank my late friend, the great Senator Bob Bennett, who was instrumental in securing funding for this building in the first place.”

Hatch, who said he is “immensely humbled” by the honor, is Utah’s longest-serving U.S. senator – 42 years. He is also the longest-serving Republican ever on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He said, “As one of the longest-serving members in the history of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I made it my life’s legacy to defend the rule of law and the integrity of our courts. I hope the naming of the federal courthouse will inspire generations of judges and attorneys to carry on this legacy for decades to come.”

Hatch was on the committee for 40 years.

Congressman Ben McAdams drafted the bill in the House.

“Senator Hatch inspired me with his willingness to work across party lines to advance important work for Utah and our country, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program and efforts to stop explosive nuclear weapons testing and compensate Utah downwinders through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act,” McAdams said on the House floor.

 

“I’m proud to support this lasting tribute to his many contributions to the people he served for more than 40 years,” he said.

Sen. Mike Lee said, “Senator Hatch dedicated his life to serving Utah and his impact on the state of Utah cannot be overstated. As one of the longest-serving chairmen of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he left a lasting legacy on our nation’s federal judiciary so it is only appropriate that Utah’s federal courthouse be named in his honor.”

Rep. Chris Stewart said,  “Senator Hatch served the people of Utah with great honor and dedication for 42 years in the U.S. Senate. He and his wife, Elaine, made great sacrifices for our country, for which I am forever grateful. Senator Hatch had an unparalleled impact on the judiciary and it’s perfectly appropriate that we name the new courthouse in Salt Lake City after my dear friend.” He also spoke on the house floor.

The building is located at 351 South West Temple.

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