No Hatch courthouse
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Andrew Morse makes a fine argument why the new federal courthouse rising in downtown Salt Lake City should be named after distinguished Utahn George Sutherland (1862-1942), who was a state legislator, U.S. representative and senator and Supreme Court justice, as well as a Mormon-friendly gentile.

Morse neglects one fact that makes Sutherland attractive to tea partyers: He was one of the conservative Four Hoursemen justices who kept striking down President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal legislation that regulated capitalism. So he's a man Utah should embrace.

For me, that's one reason to dislike Sutherland. But it's only one against many reasons to like him.

I'm for the Sutherland courthouse-naming proposal; otherwise, this federal building will probably remain nameless until Sen. Orrin Hatch retires and the courthouse is named after him. Not unlikely, especially since the other downtown federal buildings are named after recent senators, Wallace Bennett and Frank Moss, and were so named while the men were alive in retirement.

There ought to be laws against naming government buildings for living persons. Let's name this one after Sutherland before a retired Hatch gets his former Senate buddies to name it after him.

David Michaels

Salt Lake City