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Federal courthouse in Salt Lake City could soon bear name of Sen. Orrin Hatch

SHARE Federal courthouse in Salt Lake City could soon bear name of Sen. Orrin Hatch

SALT LAKE CITY — The federal courthouse in Salt Lake City could soon bear the name of retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch.

The Senate passed a bill Thursday to name the building the Orrin G. Hatch Federal Courthouse

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, requested the legislation pass by unanimous consent. Hatch, R-Utah, was presiding over the Senate when the vote was taken. The House will likely take up the bill in January.

"I’m honored and overwhelmed that the Senate voted to name the federal courthouse in Salt Lake after me," Hatch said.

"Ensuring we have a top-notch federal judiciary and fair, consistent laws has been a priority of mine throughout my entire 42 years in the Senate," he said. "I will forever be grateful for the people of Utah for giving me this opportunity to serve."

Hatch, a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has participated in the confirmation of more than half of all federal judges who have ever served, including all current members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The federal courthouse at 351 S. West Temple opened in 2014.

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said at the dedication ceremony that Hatch's name should go on the outside.

"I just don't think there's anyone that has had more impact, not just on the state but on the nation, and has worked on the judiciary and worked with the federal bench. I felt like that's a great honor for him and appropriate," Stewart said at the time.

George Sutherland, the only Utahn ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court who served from 1922 to 1938, was also mentioned as someone for whom the building could be named. A large courtroom in the building bears his name.

Ground for the courthouse was broken in 2011, but the idea of a new building goes back to 1991. The late GOP Sen. Bob Bennett finally secured the funding from Congress after a yearslong battle.

Correction: An earlier version misidentified Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan as being from Arkansas. He is from Alaska.