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June 2006

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


Mecham "Deserves Praise," says Hatch

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), for many years chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and long-time friend to the Judiciary, paid eloquent tribute to retiring Administrative Office Director Leonidas Ralph Mecham. Speaking from the floor of the Senate on May 18, 2006, Hatch said Mecham, as the AO's longest-serving Director, had "ably guided the Judiciary through some turbulent and challenging times, and for such he deserves the praise and commendation of this body."

He noted that "providing effective judicial administration in the face of budgetary constraints is difficult when the Federal judiciary's caseload continues its upward spiral. . . National tragedies such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, as well as catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina, created their own unique challenges."

"Ralph met each challenge effectively. His extensive background in public administration and experience in both the legislative and executive branches served him well in equipping the judicial branch for its critical tasks, even through these challenges and troubled times."

"Ralph also helped guide the judicial branch through a period of increased public attention and even criticism regarding judicial decisions. Protecting judicial independence while also enhancing public understanding of the function of judges in our system of government is just the kind of balancing act Ralph was prepared to tackle. He did so effectively with a steady hand."

In closing, Hatch said, "The judicial branch and the country are better because of Ralph's service. I want to commend him for his commitment and for setting a good example of public service. His record tells me that, even in supposed retirement, Ralph Mecham will continue helping and serving those around him."