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Federal courthouse in Utah closer to being named after retired Sen. Orrin Hatch

A flag flies in front of the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.
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 — The federal courthouse in Salt Lake City is a step closer to being named after retired Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.

The U.S. Senate passed legislation Tuesday to name the building after the longtime Republican senator who retired in 2019 after 42 years in office.

Utah GOP Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, who introduced the bill, said Hatch dedicated his life to serving the country and the state.

“As one of the longest serving chairmen of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he played a pivotal role in the confirmation of many current and retired Supreme Court justices. Sen. Hatch’s positive impact on the state of Utah and the nation’s federal judiciary cannot be overstated, and it is only appropriate that Utah’s federal courthouse be named in his honor,” the senators said in a joint statement.

The U.S. District 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.

The legislation now goes to the House for consideration.