Orrin Grant Hatch (born March 22, 1934) is an American attorney, retired politician, and composer who served as a United States Senator from Utah for 42 years. First elected in 1976, he was the longest-serving Republican U.S. Senator in history. Until his retirement in 2019, he was, along with Patrick Leahy from Vermont, one of only two sitting U.S. Senators to have served during the presidency of Gerald Ford; he was also one of two remaining Republican U.S. Senators, along with Chuck Grassley from Iowa, to have served during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. Hatch served as either the Chair or ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1993 to 2005. He previously chaired the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions from 1981 to 1987. Hatch also served as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. On January 3, 2015, after the 114th United States Congress was sworn in, Hatch became President pro tempore of the Senate. On January 2, 2018, Hatch announced that he would retire from the Senate and that he would not seek re-election in November.
|90th President pro tempore of the United States Senate|
January 3, 2015 – January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Patrick Leahy|
|Succeeded by||Chuck Grassley|
|United States Senator|
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Frank Moss|
|Succeeded by||Mitt Romney|
|Chair of the Joint Pensions Committee|
March 8, 2018 – January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Chair of the Senate Finance Committee|
January 3, 2015 – January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Ron Wyden|
|Succeeded by||Chuck Grassley|
|Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee|
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
|Preceded by||Patrick Leahy|
|Succeeded by||Arlen Specter|
January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001
|Preceded by||Patrick Leahy|
|Succeeded by||Patrick Leahy|
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||Joe Biden|
|Succeeded by||Patrick Leahy|
|Chair of the Senate Labor Committee|
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
|Preceded by||Harrison A. Williams|
|Succeeded by||Ted Kennedy|
Orrin Grant Hatch
March 22, 1934
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Elaine Hansen (m. 1957)
|Education||Brigham Young University (BA)|
University of Pittsburgh (JD)
|Awards||Presidential Medal of Freedom (2018)|
Orrin Grant Hatch was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Jesse Hatch (1904–1992), a metal lather, and his wife Helen Frances Hatch (née Kamm; 1906–1995). Hatch had eight brothers and sisters, two of whom did not survive infancy. Hatch was profoundly affected by the loss of his older brother Jesse, a U.S. Army Air Forces nose turret gunner with the 725th Bombardment Squadron who was killed on February 7, 1945 when the B-24 he was aboard was shot down over Austria.
Hatch, who grew up in poverty, was the first in his family to attend college; he attended Brigham Young University and received a B.A. degree in history in 1959. He also fought 11 bouts as an amateur boxer. In 1962, Hatch received a J.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Hatch has stated that during law school, he and his young family resided in a refurbished chicken coop behind his parents' house. Hatch worked as an attorney in Pittsburgh and moved to Utah in 1969, where he continued to practice law.
In 1976, in his first run for public office, Hatch was elected to the United States Senate, defeating Democrat Frank Moss, a three-term incumbent. Among other issues, Hatch criticized Moss's 18-year tenure in the Senate, saying "What do you call a Senator who's served in office for 18 years? You call him home." Hatch ran on the promise of term limits and argued that many Senators, including Moss, had lost touch with their constituents.
In 1982, he won reelection to a second term, defeating Mayor of Salt Lake City Ted Wilson by 17 points. He has not faced substantive opposition since, and has been reelected five more times, including defeating Brian Moss, Frank Moss' son, by 35 points in 1988.
In 2000, Hatch made a failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, losing to then-Texas Governor George W. Bush. During the first Republican debate, Hatch made web usability a campaign issue, a first for a presidential candidate. He claimed his website was more user-friendly than Bush's. At least one web usability expert agreed.
After the defeat of Utah's Senator Bob Bennett in 2010, conjecture began as to whether six-term Senator Hatch would retire in 2012. It was also speculated that Congressman Jason Chaffetz would run against Hatch, though Chaffetz would later decline. In January 2011, Hatch announced his campaign for re-election. Later, nine other Republicans, including former State Senator Dan Liljenquist and then-State Legislator Chris Herrod, declared campaigns for U.S. Senator.
Having elected state delegates in mid-March, both the Democratic and Republican parties held conventions on April 21, with the possibilities to determine their nominees for the November general election. At the Republican convention, Hatch failed to get the 60% vote needed to clinch the Republican nomination, so he faced Liljenquist (the second-place winner) in the primary June 26. Hatch won the primary easily. It was Hatch's first primary competition since his election in 1976. The Democratic convention chose former state Senator and IBM executive Scott Howell as the Democratic Party candidate. Hatch defeated Howell, receiving 65.2% of the vote to Howell's 30.2%.
In 2007, Hatch became the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Utah history, eclipsing previous record-holder Reed Smoot. He was among the first to rally conservative Christians and Mormons to the Republican Party, most notably on the pro-life platform, which he has supported for 35 years.
In September 1989, Hatch was one of nine Republican senators appointed by Senate Republican Leader Robert Dole to negotiate a dispute with Democrats over financing of President Bush's anti-drug plan that called for spending $7.8 billion by the following year as part of the president's efforts to address narcotics nationwide and abroad.
Hatch has long expressed interest in serving on the United States Supreme Court. It was reported that he was on Ronald Reagan's short list of candidates to succeed Lewis F. Powell Jr. on the Supreme Court, but was passed over at least in part because of the Ineligibility Clause. Despite that, he vocally supported Robert Bork, who was chosen instead. After Bork's and Douglas H. Ginsburg's nominations to the seat faltered, Anthony Kennedy was confirmed to fill the vacancy. Hatch was also mentioned as a possible nominee after George W. Bush became president. Following the appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, a potential appointment became unlikely. Hatch's advanced age now makes him a very unlikely Supreme Court nominee. However, after the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had suggested him as a nominee. The nomination instead went to Neil Gorsuch.
In the 2016 presidential election, Hatch originally supported former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and later endorsed Florida Senator Marco Rubio once Bush ended his campaign. On May 12, 2016, after Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Hatch endorsed him.
On May 27, 2016, after Trump suggested that a federal judge Gonzalo P. Curiel was biased against Trump because of his Mexican heritage, Hatch said: "From what I know about Trump, he's not a racist but he does make a lot of outrageous statements...I think you can criticize a judge but it ought to be done in a formal way" and said that Trump's statements were not so inappropriate that he would rescind his support. On October 7, 2016, following the Donald Trump Access Hollywood controversy, Hatch described Trump's comments as "offensive and disgusting" and said that "[there] is no excuse for such degrading behavior. All women deserve to be treated with respect." Hatch maintained his endorsement of Trump's candidacy.
On January 20, 2017, Hatch was absent from the Inauguration Day festivities. Hatch's website commented: "Today, we observe a time-honored tradition of the world's oldest democracy: the peaceful transition of power. This changing of the guard from one president to another is a defining feature of our Republic. At the request of President Donald Trump, I am honored to fulfill the role of designated presidential successor during the inauguration. As much as I would have liked to participate in the ceremony and festivities, I am honored to perform this important constitutional duty, which ensures the continuity of government." Hatch was kept at a secure, undisclosed location for the duration of Inauguration Day.
On December 25, 2017, the Salt Lake Tribune published an editorial entitled "Why Orrin Hatch is Utahn of the Year." The newspaper described its criteria for the designation as "Utahn of the Year" as "the Utahn who, over the past 12 months, has done the most. Has made the most news. Has had the biggest impact. For good or for ill." The editorial criticized Hatch for his role in the size reduction of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and accused him of lacking integrity.
In 1995, Hatch was the leading figure behind the senate's anti-terrorism bill, to a large extent a response to the Oklahoma City Bombing. Elements of the bill were criticised by the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee on civil liberties grounds, especially the new limits imposed on habeas corpus in capital cases.
As a senior member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, Hatch was also instrumental in the 2008 extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He said, "This bipartisan bill will help defeat terrorism and keep America safe. No, the legislation is not perfect, but it ensures that the increased expansion of the judiciary into foreign intelligence gathering doesn't unnecessarily hamper our intelligence community."
Hatch voted in favor of the 2008 legislation that established the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). In 2011, Hatch said that he "probably made a mistake voting for it", and also claimed "at the time, we were in real trouble and it looked like we were ready for a depression. I believe we would have gone into a depression." He voted against the renewal of TARP in 2009, and the renewal was voted down by 10 votes in the Senate.
During his time in the Senate, Hatch has sponsored a balanced budget amendment 17 times—4 times as lead sponsor and 13 times as a co-sponsor. He also voted in favor of passing a Balanced Budget Amendment on at least 9 occasions. Hatch's proposed amendment passed the House of Representatives in 1997, but failed to pass the Senate by the required two-thirds majority by one vote to move on the states for ratification.
In January 1990, the federal judge in a case against the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) accepted a 1989 plea bargain offered to the bank by the U.S. Department of Justice. The bank was to pay $15 million in fines and only admit that it had laundered drug money. Afterward, Hatch presented an impassioned defense of the bank in a speech on the Senate floor. It had been largely written for him by the bank's attorney Robert Altman. Hatch said, "The case arose from the conduct of a small number of B.C.C.I.'s more than 14,000 employees." Since 1989, Hatch and his aide, Michael Pillsbury, had been involved in efforts to counter the negative publicity that surrounded the bank. Hatch had also solicited the bank to approve a $10 million loan to a close friend, Mazur Hourani. In 1991, B.C.C.I. was shut down after regulators accused it of one of the biggest international financial frauds in history. Law enforcement officials accused the bank of making bribes throughout the third world to arrange government deposits. Clark Clifford, a former presidential advisor and Defense Secretary, and Altman, his law partner, were charged with taking bribes from B.C.C.I., in exchange for concealing its illegal ownership of First American Bankshares, a Washington holding company which Clifford chaired. Both had denied the charges, which were filed in New York State and Federal courts. In 1992, in a "Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate," prepared by committee members, U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Hank Brown (R-CO), noted that a key strategy of "BCCI's successful secret acquisitions of U.S. banks in the face of regulatory suspicion was its aggressive use of a series of prominent Americans," Clifford amongst them. The relationship with Hourani included the receipt of campaign contributions laundered through his employees, for which Hourani was fined $10,000, as well as his purchase of 1,200 CDs of Hatch's songs, for which Hatch received $3 to $7 each, and the management of a blind trust for Hatch. These led to a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, by which Hatch was eventually cleared.
As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Hatch has investigated the use of what are known as Section 1603 grants and tax credits. The Section 1603 program was created in President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package with the intention of subsidizing green energy production. Since 2009, the federal government has given out $25 billion in cash grants on behalf of the program. Hatch has investigated the program on several occasions. On June 9, 2016, his office requested from Department of Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) details about how companies use the program. In March 2016, Hatch asked the IRS and Treasury Department to demonstrate that the agencies use safeguards and coordinate with each other when reviewing applications for Section 1603 grants. Per his June letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the agencies have cooperated with Hatch's investigation.
Hatch opposed President Barack Obama's health reform legislation; he voted against the Affordable Care Act in December 2009, and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Hatch has argued that the insurance mandate found in the legislation is not in the category that can be covered by the interstate commerce clause since it regulates the decision to engage in commercial activity rather than regulating the activity itself. He therefore regards the Act as unconstitutional. NPR called Hatch a "flip-flopper" on this issue since in 1993 Hatch co-sponsored a bill along with 19 other Senate Republicans that included an individual insurance mandate as a means to combat healthcare legislation proposed by Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Hatch said that Obamacare supporters were "the stupidest, dumbass people I’ve ever met".
Hatch was one of the first Senators to suggest that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and promised to work on dismantling it when he becomes the Finance Committee Chairman. Hatch was part of the group of 13 Senators drafting the Senate version of the AHCA behind closed doors.
In 2003, Hatch supported the Medicare prescription drug benefit plan known as Medicare Part D. Responding to criticism of the legislation during the 2009 debate on health care reform, Hatch said that in 2003 "it was standard practice not to pay for things" and that although there was concern at the time about increasing the deficit, supporting the bill was justified because it "has done a lot of good".
On March 25, 2014, Hatch cosponsored the Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014 in the Senate. The bill that would amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program through FY2019. The bill would authorize appropriations of about $20 million in 2015 and $101 million over the 2015–2019 period. Hatch argued that "children require specialized medical care, and that specialized care comes with unique challenges. The EMSC program helps ensure that some of our country's most vulnerable have access to the care they need, and I've been proud to support it all these years."
Hatch was one of the architects and advocates of the expansion of H-1B visas and has generally been an advocate of tougher enforcement immigration policy including voting for 1,500 new law enforcement agents to patrol the border. His 2010 Immigration Bill titled Strengthening Our Commitment to Legal Immigration and America's Security Act has received the support of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). He also proposed the DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants, who were children when their parents came to the United States.
Hatch critiqued President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily shut down seven Muslim countries entered until better screening methods are devised. He reflected on his own family's immigration history and described the order as placing "unnecessary burdens" on families.
As ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hatch fought hard to get conservative judges nominated to the Supreme Court. He took a leading role in the Senate confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas in October 1991. He was also a strong supporter of Jay Bybee during Bybee's confirmation hearings for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, stating "I've seen a lot of people around and a lot of judges and I don't know of anybody who has any greater qualifications or any greater ability in the law than you have."
Nevertheless, in 1993, Hatch recommended Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom he knew personally, to President Bill Clinton to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, even as he knew she was a political liberal. Clinton had not previously considered Ginsburg, and Hatch, as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, assured him that a Ginsburg confirmation would go smoothly.
With regards to the Senate filibuster being used to stall President Barack Obama's judicial appointments, Hatch voted against the November 2013 reforms, which eliminated the use of the filibuster on executive branch nominees and judicial nominees other than to the Supreme Court. In September 2014, Hatch argued that the filibuster should be restored, saying: "We should get it back to where it was. You can see the destruction that has happened around here." However, in November 2014, after the Republicans retook control of the Senate following the 2014 elections, Hatch wrote in The Wall Street Journal that "if Republicans re-establish the judicial-nomination filibuster, it would remain in place only until the moment that a new Democratic majority decided that discarding the rule again would be useful" and called for "the next Republican president to counteract President Obama's aggressive efforts to stack the federal courts in favor of his party's ideological agenda" by nominating conservative judges.
As an opponent of the confirmation of Merrick Garland, Hatch submitted to the Deseret News an opinion piece stating that, after meeting with Garland, his opinion on blocking Garland had not changed; the piece was published prior to Hatch's meeting with Garland. On March 13, 2016, regarding the nomination of Supreme court candidates by Obama, Hatch stated "a number of factors have led me to conclude that under current circumstances the Senate should defer the confirmation process until the next president is sworn in".
Hatch has long been a proponent of expanding intellectual property rights, and introduced the Senate version of the Copyright Term Extension Act in 1997. Hatch believes intellectual property laws should, in general, more closely mirror real property laws, and offer greater protections to authors and creators.
One year later, he proposed the controversial INDUCE Act that attempted to make illegal all tools that could be used for copyright infringement if said tools were intentionally used for illegal copyright infringement.
On September 20, 2010, Hatch once again attempted to outlaw websites which could be used for trademark and copyright infringement through the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). This bill would authorize the United States Department of Justice to blacklist and censor all websites that the department deemed to be dedicated to "infringing activities".
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that in 1977, Hatch told students from the University of Utah, "I wouldn't want to see homosexuals teaching school anymore than I'd want to see members of the American Nazi Party teaching school." Hatch supported the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.
In 2012, Hatch recommended and supported District Court Judge Robert Shelby, a Barack Obama appointee, though Utah Senator Mike Lee, voted against him in the Judiciary Committee. In 2013 Shelby overturned Utah's ballot Amendment 3, which constitutionally defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
In April 2013, Hatch stated that he viewed same-sex marriage as "undermining the very basis of marital law", but declined to support a Federal Marriage Amendment and endorsed same-sex couples' right to form a civil union, stating that the law should "give gay people the same rights as married people". Later that same year, Hatch voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation creating protected classes for those identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. In 2018, Hatch "honored Pride" by giving a speech in support of programs to help and serve LGBT youth.
During Hatch's first year in the Senate in 1977, reporter Gordon Eliot White of the Deseret News published the first of what would be a lengthy series of articles detailing government malfeasance in atmospheric testing of nuclear bombs at the Nevada Test Site. Over the next 13 years White's articles detailed how the government determined to proceed with the tests, and with mining and refining, without adequate safeguards for innocent citizens whose health would be damaged. Though Hatch feared an investigation would endanger the nation's nuclear deterrence versus the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, by 1979 he was pushing for hearings on the issue before the Senate Labor Committee. Hatch prevailed on Committee Chairman Ted Kennedy to hold field hearings in Utah in 1980. At the end of 1980, Hatch was positioned to chair the committee himself.
By 1984, Hatch had held a dozen hearings, passed legislation requiring scientific investigation of the injuries and had enlisted the aid of the National Science Foundation and National Cancer Institute, but still could not muster the votes to get a bill. When a vote was obtained in the Senate in 1985 (as an amendment to a bill to compensate Pacific Islanders for nuclear tests in the 1950s), it failed by a handful of votes. Hatch discovered a clause in the proposed Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Kiribati and Tuvalu to pay at least $100 million to residents of the Marshall Islands for injuries similar to those of Utahns, and Hatch took the treaty hostage. His hold on consideration of the treaty eventually got agreement from the Reagan administration to agree not to oppose radiation compensation for Utah citizens, but it still took another five years to get the bill through. The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990 provided compensation for citizens injured by radioactive fallout from the tests.
In December 2010, Hatch was one of twenty-six senators who voted against the ratification of New Start, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russian Federation obliging both countries to have no more than 1,550 strategic warheads as well as 700 launchers deployed during the next seven years along with providing a continuation of on-site inspections that halted when START I expired the previous year. It was the first arms treaty with Russia in eight years.
Hatch introduced the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, narrowing the broad authority of the DEA to suspend drug "manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers". Hatch stated the bill was also written to protect patients from disruptions in the production and delivery of their prescription drugs: "The fact that prescription drugs can be abused should not prevent patients from receiving the medications they need. This bill takes a balanced approach to the problem of prescription drug abuse by clarifying penalties for manufacturing or dispensing outside approved procedures while helping to ensure that supply chains to legitimate users remain intact". The bill passed the Senate unanimously and Tom Marino passed a version of the bill in the House and was signed by President Barack Obama.
Critics of the bill claim the new law fuels the opioid crisis by limiting the DEA's ability to halt production and distribution by predatory drug companies. DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney II wrote in the Marquette Law Review: "At a time when, by all accounts, opioid abuse, addiction and deaths were increasing markedly, this new law imposed a dramatic diminution of the agency's authority. It is now all but logically impossible for the DEA to suspend a drug company's operations for failing to comply with federal law." Donald Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the law "dubious" and joined 44 state attorneys general calling for "repeal or amendment of the law to restore some of the DEA's authority." Jim Geldhof, a former DEA program manager whom spent 43 years with the DEA called the bill "outrageous. It basically takes any kind of action DEA was going to do with a distributor or manufacturer as far as an immediate suspension off the table. And then the other part of that really infuriates me is that corrective action plan." Mulrooney compared the corrective action plan to one that would "allow bank robbers to round up and return inkstained money and agree not to rob any more banks — all before any of those wrongdoers actually admit fault and without any consequence that might deter such behavior in the future."
Hatch responded to a Washington Post and 60 Minutes investigation into the bill by writing a Washington Post opinion article calling the investigation "misleading" and asking to "leave conspiracy theories to Netflix". Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a co-sponsor of the senate bill, also defended the bill: "This bill was drafted in consultation with the DEA to offer better guidance for companies working to safely and responsibly supply prescription drugs to pharmacies, and to promote better communication and certainty between companies and regulators."  Republican Pat Toomey expressed doubts that a conspiracy existed, but still suggested amending the bill: "I'm a little surprised that it passed unanimously in both houses, was signed by President Obama and got no opposition from the DEA at the time. That's not the way controversial legislation usually ends up, but hey, if there's problems, then we ought to revisit them."
Hatch received $177,000 in donations from the drug industry while pushing the bill through and has received $2,178,863 from the Pharmaceuticals/Health Products industry from 1989-2014 according to required filings by the Federal Election Commission.
In 2017, Hatch voted to prevent online and telecommunication privacy protections from taking effect.
Hatch was the main author of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which protected all religions' right to build church facilities on private property. In 2010, Hatch defended the right of a private organization to build a mosque on private property in downtown Manhattan, citing this law and defense of the freedom of religion.
In 1980, Hatch spoke in favor of rolling back provisions of the Fair Housing Act enforced by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Acting on his motion in 1988, Congress eventually voted to weaken the ability of plaintiffs to prosecute cases of discriminatory treatment in housing. At the time the 1988 Fair Housing Amendments were being debated, he introduced a bill endorsed by the National Association of Realtors to severely limit who can file anti-discrimination suits and to make the proceedings a private affair.
Hatch pushed legislation for the Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment, which would amend Article 2, Section I, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution. This amendment would allow anyone who has been a U.S. citizen for twenty years to seek the presidency or vice-presidency.
A vocal supporter of stem cell research, Hatch was one of 58 senators who signed a letter directed to President George W. Bush, requesting the relaxing of federal restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. In 2010, Hatch's bill was reauthorized which allowed stem cells from umbilical cords to be used to find treatment options.
In 2011, Hatch was criticized for comments he made suggesting that the rich have an unfair financial burden in the current tax system.
In June 2013, Hatch commented on a G8 proposal that tax authorities in the world's largest economies openly share information among themselves in order to fight tax evasion. The proposal has strong suggestions about ways to make companies more transparent and governments more accountable for their tax policies. Hatch stated that transparency is always a good thing, but he would like to see a bill before giving any support.
In 2017, Hatch was one of 22 senators to sign a letter to President Donald Trump urging the President to have the United States withdraw from the Paris Agreement. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Hatch has received over $470,000 from oil, gas and coal interests since 2012.
In 2018, over the Judge Kavanaugh Supreme Court controversy, Hatch said that it did not matter even if Kavanaugh did what his accusers alleged was true. Hatch said, "If that was true, I think it would be hard for senators to not consider who the judge is today. That’s the issue. Is this judge a really good man? And he is. And by any measure he is.”
Hatch voted for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1999, saying "committing crimes of moral turpitude such as perjury and obstruction of justice go to the heart of qualification for public office... This great nation can tolerate a president who makes mistakes. But it cannot tolerate one who makes a mistake and then breaks the law to cover it up. Any other citizen would be prosecuted for these crimes." In 2018, in the wake of court filings that implicated President Trump in campaign finance violations and in attempting to buy the silence of women who alleged affairs with Trump, Hatch said, "I don’t care, all I can say is he’s doing a good job as president."
In April 2018, Hatch was one of eight Republican senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and acting Secretary of State John Sullivan expressing "deep concern" over a report by the United Nations exposing "North Korean sanctions evasion involving Russia and China" and asserting that the findings "demonstrate an elaborate and alarming military-venture between rogue, tyrannical states to avoid United States and international sanctions and inflict terror and death upon thousands of innocent people" while calling it "imperative that the United States provides a swift and appropriate response to the continued use of chemical weapons used by President Assad and his forces, and works to address the shortcomings in sanctions enforcement."
The retirement of Senator Judd Gregg in 2011 created a domino effect among high-profile Republicans: Senator Jeff Sessions took his spot as Ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, so Senator Chuck Grassley took his spot on the Judiciary Committee, and Hatch took the top Republican spot on the Finance Committee.
Hatch's son Scott Hatch was formerly a partner and registered lobbyist at Walker, Martin & Hatch LLC, a Washington lobbying firm. The firm was formed in 2001 with Jack Martin, a staff aide to Hatch for six years, and H. Laird Walker, described as a close associate of the senator. In March 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported that the firm was formed with Hatch's personal encouragement and that he saw no conflict of interest in working on issues that involved his son's clients. In 2009, the Washington Times reported that Hatch said "My son, Scott, does not lobby me or anyone in my office".
In March 2009, the Washington Times reported that the pharmaceutical industry, which has benefited from Hatch's legislative efforts, had previously unreported connections to Hatch. In 2007, five pharmaceutical companies and the industry's main trade association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), donated $172,500 to the Utah Families Foundation—a charitable foundation which Hatch helped start in the 1990s and has continued to support since. Walker, Martin & Hatch LLC was paid $120,000 by PhRMA in 2007 to lobby Congress on pending U.S. Food and Drug Administration legislation.
|1976||✓ Orrin Hatch (R)||54%||Frank Moss (D) (inc.)||45%||George Merl Batchelor (A)||1%||Steve Trotter (L)||<1%|
|1982||✓ Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.)||58%||Ted Wilson (D)||41%||George Mercier (L)||<1%||Lawrence Kauffman (A)||<1%|
|1988||✓ Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.)||67%||Brian Moss (D)||32%||Robert Smith (A)||1%||William Arth (SW)||<1%||Clarence Thomas Conformation Hearing 1991|
|1994||✓ Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.)||69%||Pat Shea (D)||28%||Craig Oliver (I)||2%||Gary Van Horn (A)||<1%||Nelson Gonzalez (SW)||<1%||Lawrence Topham (IA)||<1%|
|2000||✓ Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.)||66%||Scott Howell (D)||31%||Carlton Edward Bowen (IA)||2%||Jim Dexter (L)||1%|
|2006||✓ Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.)||62%||Pete Ashdown (D)||31%||Scott Bradley (C)||4%||Roger Price (PC)||2%||Dave Seely (L)||1%||Julian Hatch (DG)||<1%|
|2012||✓ Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.)||65%||Scott Howell (D)||30%||Shaun Lynn McCausland (C)||3%||Daniel Greery (J)||1%||Bill Barron (I)||1%|
|U.S. Senate Republican Primary election in Utah, 2012|
|Republican||Orrin Hatch (inc.)||160,359||66%|
Hatch married Elaine Hansen on August 28, 1957. They have six children, 23 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Hatch is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Although he was born in Pennsylvania, his parents had been raised in Utah and he had ancestors who were members of the LDS Church in Nauvoo, Illinois. Hatch served as an LDS mission in what was called the "Great Lakes States Mission" essentially covering large parts of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Hatch has since served in various positions in the LDS Church, including as a bishop.
Hatch plays the piano, violin and organ. Fueled by his interest in poetry, Hatch has written songs for many. He co-authored "Everything And More," sung by Billy Gilman. In addition to his job as a United States Senator, Hatch has earned over $10,000 as an LDS music recording artist.
Hatch also has a history in arts management. In the early 1970s he was the band manager for a Mormon-themed folk group called the Free Agency. The Free Agency was made up of members of an earlier Mormon group called the Sons of Mosiah, that was formed when guitarist David Zandonatti and vocalist Ron McNeeley relocated to Utah after their San Francisco based psychedelic group Tripsichord Music Box disbanded in 1971. The group also included Lynn Bryson and Alan Cherry.
Hatch appeared as himself in Steven Soderbergh's Oscar-winning drama Traffic, in a brief cameo in a scene set during a Washington D.C. cocktail party. Soderbergh later featured one of Hatch's songs, Souls Along The Way, in his film Ocean's 12 as background music for a scene in Hatch's home state Utah.
In 2009, at the request of The Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg, Hatch authored the lyrics to "Eight Days of Hanukkah", described by Goldberg as "a hip hop Hannukah song written by the senior senator from Utah."
Despite their political differences, Hatch was a longtime friend of fellow senator Ted Kennedy, speaking at his memorial service and publicly suggesting Kennedy's widow as a replacement for Kennedy in the Senate.
Hatch's autobiography describes the challenges of balancing home and professional life as a Senator, and recounts anecdotes from his campaign experience and some of his higher-profile assignments in the Senate, such as the Confirmation Hearings of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.
Hatch also is the author of several law review articles.
Hatch has been awarded the following:
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh.
|Party political offices|
Laurence J. Burton
| Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Utah
1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006, 2012
| United States Senator (Class 1) from Utah
Served alongside: Jake Garn, Bob Bennett, Mike Lee
Harrison A. Williams
| Chair of the Senate Health Committee
| Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee
| Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee
| Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee|
| Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee
| Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee
| Chair of the Senate Finance Committee
| Chair of the Joint Taxation Committee
| Chair of the Joint Taxation Committee
|New office|| Chair of the Joint Pensions Committee
| Most Senior Republican in the United States Senate
| President pro tempore of the United States Senate
The 1976 United States Senate election in Utah took place on November 2, 1976. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Frank Moss ran for re-election to a fourth term but was defeated by his Republican opponent Orrin Hatch. 40 years after the election, Hatch was the longest-serving Republican Senator, having been re-elected for seven terms before retiring following the 2018 election.1982 United States Senate election in Utah
The 1982 United States Senate election in Utah took place on November 2, 1982, concurrently with other elections to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives, as well as various State and Local elections. Republican Orrin Hatch won re-election against Democratic challenger Ted Wilson.1988 United States Senate election in Utah
The 1988 United States Senate election in Utah took place on November 8, 1988, concurrently with the U.S. presidential election as well as other elections to United States Senate and United States House of Representatives as well as various state and local elections. Republican Orrin Hatch won re-election against Democratic challenger Brian Moss.1994 United States Senate election in Utah
The 1994 United States Senate election in Utah was held November 8, 1998. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch won re-election to a fourth term.2000 Republican Party presidential primaries
The 2000 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Texas Governor George W. Bush was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 2000 Republican National Convention held from July 31 to August 3, 2000, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.2000 United States Senate election in Utah
The 2000 United States Senate election in Utah took place on November 7, 2000. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch won re-election to a fifth term.2006 United States Senate election in Utah
The 2006 United States Senate election in Utah was held November 7, 2006. Incumbent Republican Orrin Hatch won re-election to a sixth term.2012 United States Senate election in Utah
The 2012 United States Senate election in Utah took place on November 6, 2012, concurrently with the 2012 U.S. presidential election as well as other elections to the United States Senate and House of Representatives and as various state and local elections. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch won re-election to a seventh term against former state Senator and IBM executive, Scott Howell the Democratic candidate. This would be the last time Orrin Hatch is elected to the Senate, following his retirement.2018 United States Senate election in Utah
The 2018 United States Senate election in Utah took place on November 6, 2018, to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Utah, concurrently with other elections to the United States Senate, elections to the United States House of Representatives, and various state and local elections. The primaries took place on June 26.Incumbent Republican senator Orrin Hatch announced in January 2018 that he would retire at the end of his current term and would not be seeking reelection. He was succeeded by Mitt Romney, who had been the Republican nominee for president in 2012 and previously was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, becoming only the third person in American history to be elected governor and senator in different states. At 71, Romney became the oldest person ever elected to the Senate as a freshman.Backchannel (blog)
Backchannel is an online magazine that publishes in-depth stories on technology-related news. Numerous prominent journalists have been recruited to write for the site, including Steven Levy, Andrew Leonard, Susan P. Crawford, Virginia Heffernan, Doug Menuez, Peter Diamandis, Jessi Hempel, and many others. In addition, Backchannel has interviewed many notable figures, such as Demis Hassabis of Google DeepMind and Orrin Hatch of the Republican Party.
Backchannel began as an in-house publication on Medium (website). In 2016, Backchannel was purchased by Condé Nast. In 2017, it was announced that Backchannel would be moving off of Medium and be hosted by Wired (magazine), while remaining editorially independent.Brett Tolman
Brett Tolman was the United States Attorney for the District of Utah from July 2006 to December 2009. Before becoming U.S. Attorney, Tolman worked as counsel in the Senate Judiciary Committee for committee chairs Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and then Arlen Specter (R-PA) during the 109th United States Congress. Tolman’s most noteworthy work in the Senate is his role in the passage of the 2005 Patriot Act reauthorization. He was instrumental in the revisions to the appointment process of interim U.S. Attorneys and is a major (if not well-known) figure in the dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy.DREAM Act
The DREAM Act (acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) is an American legislative proposal for a multi-phase process for qualifying alien minors in the United States that would first grant conditional residency and, upon meeting further qualifications, permanent residency.
The bill was first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001, S. 1291 by United States Senators Dick Durbin (D- Illinois) and Orrin Hatch (R- Utah), and has since been reintroduced several times but has failed to pass.George H. W. Bush judicial appointment controversies
During George H.W. Bush's term in office as the President of the United States of America, he nominated 11 individuals for 10 different federal appellate judgeships who were not processed by the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee. The Republicans claim that Senate Democrats of the 102nd Congress on purpose tried to keep open particular judgeships as a political maneuver to allow a future Democratic president to fill them. All 10 of the judgeships were eventually filled with Clinton nominees, although one nominee, Roger Gregory, was nominated by Clinton and then renominated by President George W. Bush. None of the nominees were nominated after July 1, 1992, the traditional start date of the unofficial Thurmond Rule during a presidential election year. Senator Orrin Hatch, the Republican leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 106th Congress mentioned the controversy over President George H.W. Bush's court of appeals nominees during the following controversy involving the confirmation of any more Democratic court of appeals nominees during the last two years of President Bill Clinton's second term.J. Reuben Clark Law Society
The J. Reuben Clark Law Society is an organization of lawyers and law school students consisting of over 65 professional and 125 student chapters throughout the world. Named in honor of J. Reuben Clark, a former United States Ambassador to Mexico and Under Secretary of State, the society's membership is primarily composed of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), although there is no requirement that those in the society be church members. Alumni and students of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University (BYU) are de facto members of the society.
The organization currently claims as members 14 circuit court of appeals judges, 18 U.S. district court judges, four United States Attorneys, six U.S. Senators, including erstwhile President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch, nine U.S. Representatives, 17 Fortune 500 corporate counselors, more than 85 state judges (including of state supreme courts), and thousands of practicing attorneys and law students.
The society holds an annual conference for students and attorneys, typically in the middle of February. The 2006 conference was held in Washington, D.C. and featured the Attorney General of the United States as well as a panel of distinguished U.S. Supreme Court advocates. The 2009 conference was held at Harvard Law School. The 2012 conference was held at Stanford Law School. The 2013 conference was held in Washington, DC.Manuel Miranda
Manuel "Manny" Miranda is an American political operative. He was a Republican counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, working for Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who obtained confidential memos of Democratic staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, from 2001 to 2003.Order of Duke Branimir
The Order of Duke Branimir (Croatian: Red kneza Branimira) is the 6th most important medal given by the Republic of Croatia. The order was founded on April 1, 1995. The medal is awarded for excellence in promoting Croatia in international relations. It is named after duke Branimir of Croatia.
Recipients of the order include Sir Fitzroy Maclean, Milan Moguš, Slobodan Lang, Ante Kostelić, Mike Moore, Orrin Hatch,Mario Mandzukic and Luka Modrić among several other Croatian footballers.Ryan Petty
Ryan Petty is an American school safety activist. His 14-year-old daughter Alaina Petty was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018. Petty is credited with helping to pass the "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act" Florida Senate Bill 7026 just 3 weeks after his daughter Alaina was murdered. At the federal level, Petty worked with Senators Orrin Hatch, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson to pass the STOP School Violence Act and the Fix NICS Act of 2017. He has met frequently with Florida governor Rick Scott, and many federal lawmakers.United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, informally the Senate Judiciary Committee, is a standing committee of 22 U.S. Senators whose role is to oversee the Department of Justice (DOJ), consider executive nominations, and review pending legislation.The Judiciary Committee's oversight of the DOJ includes all of the agencies under the DOJ's jurisdiction, such as the FBI. It also has oversight of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Committee considers presidential nominations for positions in the DOJ, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the State Justice Institute, and certain positions in the Department of Commerce and DHS. It is also in charge of holding hearings and investigating judicial nominations to the Supreme Court, the U.S. court of appeals, the U.S. district courts, and the Court of International Trade. The Standing Rules of the Senate confer jurisdiction to the Senate Judiciary Committee in certain areas, such as considering proposed constitutional amendments and legislation related to federal criminal law, human rights law, immigration, intellectual property, antitrust law, and internet privacy.United States congressional delegations from Utah
Since Utah became a U.S. state in 1896, it has sent congressional delegations to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. Each state elects two senators to serve for six years. Before the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the Utah State Legislature. Members of the House of Representatives are elected to two-year terms, one from each of Utah's four congressional districts. Before becoming a state, the Territory of Utah elected a non-voting delegate at-large to Congress from 1850 to 1896.
57 people have served either the Territory or State of Utah: 14 in the Senate, 41 in the House, and 2 in both houses. The average term for senators has been 15.3 years and the average term for representatives has been 6.7 years. The longest-serving senator is Orrin Hatch, in office since 1977. The longest-serving representative is James V. Hansen, in office for 22 years from 1981 to 2003. Four women have been members of Utah's congressional delegation, Reva Beck Bosone, Karen Shepherd, Enid Greene and Mia Love, all as representatives.
In 2013, following the 2010 United States Census, a 4th district was added. A new congressional redistricting map was approved by the Republican legislature and signed into law by Republican Governor Gary Herbert.