[Congressional Record Volume 166, Number 195 (Tuesday, November 17, 2020)]
[Pages S7024-S7025]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. LEE. Madam President, as in legislative session, I ask unanimous 
consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S. 
4902, which was introduced earlier today.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 4902) to designate the United States courthouse 
     located at 351 South West Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, as 
     the ``Orrin G. Hatch United States Courthouse''.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the Senate will proceed to 
the measure.
  The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. LEE. Madam President, this is legislation that would name the 
Federal courthouse in Salt Lake City, which was completed a few years 
ago, after my friend and former colleague and also a longtime mentor of 
mine, Senator Orrin G. Hatch.
  Senator Hatch, long before he became a statesman, was a lawyer--and 
not just any lawyer, he was a lawyer's lawyer. He was really good. He 
received the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell AV rating as a litigator. 
His skills as a litigator were so good that they helped convince some 
of his friends and neighbors that he ought to seek public office. The 
first public office he sought as an elected official was to the U.S. 
Senate. He was elected in 1976.
  He then served in the U.S. Senate from 1977 all the way up until 
2019. During that 42-year time period, Senator Hatch had a profound 
impact not only on the U.S. Senate and his colleagues here--and he 
certainly did; he was a friend to everyone who knew him--but he also 
had a much broader impact, one that will have far-reaching, lasting, 
durable impacts on the Federal court system.
  I took a look at a list of all Federal district judges--the trial 
court judges who have served on the Federal bench from Utah ever since 
our statehood. There are only about 20 people on that list. All but 
five of those came on to the court either during or right after; in 
other words, with some input--significant input from Senator Hatch.
  Senator Hatch has also been a part of every judicial nomination in 
the confirmation process during that same 42-year period. I can't think 
of any other Utahan in the history of our State who has had anywhere 
near the kind of impact on the Federal judiciary as Senator Hatch. It 
is not just that he served on the committee throughout that time period 
that confirmed judicial nominees, whether to Federal district courts, 
to the courts of appeals, or to the Supreme Court--he certainly did 
have a lot of impact there--but his impact even went further than that, 
you see, because he sought to be a mentor to people interested in the 
law and in public policy everywhere. His service had an impact 
certainly on me as one of countless lawyers and other people interested 
in law and public policy in this country.
  I remember watching proudly and with great admiration as he conducted 
himself as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Robert 
Bork confirmation hearings. He had a certain commitment to the rule of 
law and to fundamental fairness that would be owed to anyone nominated 
to that or any other judicial position, and he was willing to make sure 
that the Senate did its job and that it didn't get mired in the 
politics of the day.
  He had a great quote on this topic. He said: ``Politics must not 
undermine the principles and standards we apply to every judicial 
  I watched over the years, in part, because I had first seen him 
participate in the Bork hearings. That got me interested in the Senate. 
In part, because of that example, that got me interested as a teenager 
to apply to be a Senate page. I later became a Senate page, appointed 
by Senator Hatch. I got to see him carry out his activities as a member 
of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And from then on, I always watched 
with careful attention when he was handling a judicial confirmation 
  I watched through the years as he handled the nomination hearings of 
individuals including: Justice Thomas, Justice Ginsburg, and, later, 
Justice Alito, my former boss. In each instance, he treated judicial 
nominees and literally hundreds of others like them with dignity and 
respect but also with the amount of thorough attention that lifetime 
appointment to the Federal judiciary demands.
  In addition to this, he also liked to try to foster in others a 
genuine interest in the law. I remember, when I was serving as a law 
clerk to Federal District Judge Dee Benson in Salt Lake City--one of 
the brightest and most capable jurists ever to serve on the Federal 
bench, whether in Utah or anywhere else. He was a good friend, longtime 
ally and confidant of Senator Hatch's. I remember, while I was clerking 
for Judge Benson, right after I graduated from law school, Senator 
Hatch came by and just held a roundtable discussion with all the 
Federal judges. He not only seemed but was in fact conversant on all 
kinds of issues of

[[Page S7025]]

the law--not just the hot-button issues that people think of when they 
watch the news, but he was delving into arcane details of the law that 
really made me proud to have him representing me in the U.S. Senate 
from the State of Utah.
  I got to know Senator Hatch even better after I got elected to the 
Senate, and he and I had the opportunity to work together as 
colleagues. Throughout all these experiences, I have come to revere him 
as someone who reveres the law.
  For these reasons, I conclude that it is fitting for us to name this 
Federal courthouse in Utah after him. It is difficult to imagine anyone 
who has had the same impact on the Federal judiciary who has ever lived 
in or served from our State as Senator Hatch.
  Madam President, I would like to yield some time to my colleague, the 
Senator from Utah.
  Mr. ROMNEY. Senator Lee, thank you for your excellent remarks with 
regard to Senator Orrin Hatch. I rise to second what you said and to 
add a few words, some duplicative.
  As you indicated, Senator Hatch dedicated his life to serving our 
country and our State, and he served in this body for some 42 years--a 
remarkable and extraordinary career of public service. And, of course, 
he was one of the longest serving chairmen of the Senate Judiciary 
Committee and, therefore, played a pivotal role in confirming many, 
many current and now-retired Supreme Court Justices. And while serving 
as chairman, he also helped shepherd hundreds of district and appellate 
judges through confirmation, including the majority of Utah's Federal 
  His impact on the State of Utah is not just professional but also 
personal. Virtually anybody who stopped Senator Hatch and asked his 
opinion on a topic--he would stop, shake their hand, smile, and give 
them a full rapt attention. He is a tall drink of water, so you have to 
look up to Senator Hatch.
  I came to him, following the crisis of 9/11, asking for his help in 
securing essential security funding for the Olympic Winter Games of 
2002. Senator Hatch immediately took me to meet with other Senators, 
and he, along with others, was able to secure the funding necessary to 
make sure that our games were safe and were ultimately produced 
successfully in a way that made them the most successful Olympic Winter 
Games in history. He was and is an honorable public servant who 
continues to have tremendous impact on our State; therefore, it is only 
appropriate that Utah's Federal courthouse be named in his honor, and I 
am glad to support this legislation.

  I yield my time back to Senator Lee.
  Mr. LEE. I ask unanimous consent that S. 4902 be considered read a 
third time and passed and that the motion to reconsider be considered 
made and laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The bill (S. 4902) was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, 
was read the third time, and passed as follows

                                S. 4902

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       (a) Designation.--The United States courthouse located at 
     351 South West Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, shall be known 
     and designated as the ``Orrin G. Hatch United States 
       (b) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, 
     document, paper, or other record of the United States to the 
     United States courthouse referred to in subsection (a) shall 
     be deemed to be a reference to the ``Orrin G. Hatch United 
     States Courthouse''.

  Mr. LEE. Madam President, I am grateful my colleagues have chosen to 
allow this to pass into law. It is a great day for Senator Hatch, the 
State of Utah, and the United States.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.