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
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