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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Orrin Hatch

Assumed office 
January 3, 1977
Serving with Bob Bennett
Preceded by Frank Moss

In office
January 2, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Joe Biden
Succeeded by Patrick Leahy
In office
January 20 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by Patrick Leahy
Succeeded by Patrick Leahy
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Patrick Leahy
Succeeded by Arlen Specter

In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by Harrison A. Williams
Succeeded by Ted Kennedy

Born March 22, 1934 (1934-03-22) (age 75)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Elaine Hatch
Residence Salt Lake City, Utah
Alma mater Brigham Young University
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Occupation Attorney
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormon")
Website U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch

Orrin Grant Hatch (born March 22, 1934) is a Republican United States Senator from Utah, serving since 1977.

Hatch is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, where he serves on the subcommittees on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure and Taxation and IRS Oversight. Hatch is also on the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, as well as the Joint Committee on Taxation. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.



Hatch, first in his family to attend college, attended Brigham Young University and, in 1959, received a degree in History. In 1962, he received a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh Law School. As a law student, he worked as a janitor, a construction worker in the Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers Union (putting up walls over various kinds of lath), and a dormitory desk attendant.

Political career

For fourteen years after graduating, Hatch worked as an Attorney at law in Pittsburgh and Utah. In 1976 in his first run for public office, he 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 that many Senators, including Moss, had lost touch with their constituents. Ironically, Hatch surpassed Moss' Senate tenure in 1995, having served for nearly double that period of time as of 2009. Hatch won his first election by an unexpectedly wide nine-point margin. He later defeated Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson by 17 points in his reelection bid in 1982. He hasn't faced substantive opposition since, and has been reelected four times. He is the longest-serving Senator in Utah history.

2000 Presidential Campaign

In 2000, Hatch made a failed bid for the Republican Presidential nomination, losing to 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.[1]

Post-Presidential Campaign

Hatch has long expressed interest in serving on the US Supreme Court and he had been mentioned as a possible nominee after George W. Bush became president. But after the appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, a potential appointment became very unlikely. Barack Obama's election and Hatch's age make him an unlikely Supreme Court nominee. In the aftermath of the U.S. Attorney firing scandal, Orrin Hatch was mentioned in various news sources as a candidate to succeed Alberto Gonzales as United States Attorney General.

Political positions


Hatch was a supporter of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which restricted federal funding for abortion when the 2009 House healthcare bill was passed. He also sought to depose a similar amendment in the Senate in order to make sure that the government would not be funding abortions.[2]

Nuclear Issues

Senator Orrin Hatch holds a press conference with Congressman Wayne Owens in March, 1989 as part of their successful charge to win passage of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) which provides for ongoing compensation to Southern Utahns and others damaged by nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s.

During Hatch's first year in the Senate, 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 Peoples 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, it failed. Hatch's ferreting discovered a clause to pay at least $100 million to Marshall Islands injured similarly to Utah citizens, 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 Compensation Act of 1990 provided compensation for citizens injured by radioactive fallout from the tests.


In 1980, Hatch spoke in favor of rolling back provisions of the Fair Housing Act. 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.

Intellectual Property

Hatch caused an overnight controversy on June 17, 2003 by proposing that copyright owners should be able to destroy the computer equipment and information of those suspected of copyright infringement, including file sharing. In the face of criticism, especially from technology and privacy advocates, Hatch withdrew his suggestion days later, after it was discovered that Sen. Hatch's official website was using an unlicensed JavaScript menu from United Kingdom based software developer Milonic Solutions. Milonic founder Andy Woolley stated that "We've had no contact with them. They are in breach of our licensing terms." Shortly after the publication of that story in Wired magazine, the company who runs Hatch's website contacted Milonic to start registration.[3]

One year later, he proposed the controversial INDUCE Act that attempted to make illegal all tools that could be used for copyright infringement. According to many critics, this act would effectively outlaw the Internet and personal computers, giving unprecedented legal leverage to media companies.

Other issues

Hatch was one of the architects and advocates of the expansion of H-1b visas and has generally been an advocate of looser immigration policy, which upsets most members of his delegation in Utah. He also proposed the somewhat controversial DREAM Act, which would grant state-subsidized higher education to illegal immigrants.

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 stem cell research.

He has also pushed legislation for the Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment, which would amend Article 2, Section I, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution. Under this amendment it would allow anyone who has been a US citizen for twenty years to seek both the presidency and vice-presidency.

Hatch was also a strong supporter of Jay Bybee during Bybee's confirmation hearings for a US Federal judgeship 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". [2]

In 2006 Hatch gave a controversial speech to the Utah Senate, stating that terrorists across the world were "waiting for the Democrats here to take control, let things cool off and then strike again."[4]

Committee assignments



In 1998, Hatch, a descendant of polygamists, defended polygamy in a taped interview, saying that the Constitution was "ambiguous" on the issue.[5] He later stated that the Constitution was not ambiguous, that polygamy should remain illegal, and that polygamy was against the teachings of his church.[6]

Lobbying ties

Hatch's son Scott is a named partner and registered lobbyist at Walker, Martin & Hatch LLC, a Washington lobbying firm. The firm was formed in 2001; the other two partners are Jack Martin, a staff aide to Senator Hatch for six years, and H. Laird Walker, who has been described as a close associate of the senator's.[7] In March 2003, the Los Angeles Times quoted Senator Hatch as saying that the firm was formed with his "personal encouragement" and that he saw no conflict of interest in championing issues that helped his son's clients.[8]

Hatch has legislated for dietary supplements to be governed outside of the realm of drugs and food additives. Utah, his constituency, is considered the "Silicon Valley" of the supplement industry. When the FDA was reviewing the adverse effects of ephedra, Hatch defended the supplement industry. At the time, Walker, Martin & Hatch LLC were being paid, by companies with interests in ephedra manufacturing, for lobbying Congress.[8]

In March 2009, the Washington Times reported that the pharmaceutical industry, which has "long has benefited from Sen. Orrin G. Hatch's legislative efforts", had previously undisclosed connections to Hatch. Five pharmaceutical companies and the industry's main lobbying group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), wrote checks in 2007 totaling more than $170,000 to the Utah Families Foundation, a tax-exempt charitable foundation which Hatch helped start in the 1990s and had vigorously supported 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.[7]

2006 re-election campaign

Hatch was heavily favored to win reelection for his 6th term in November 2006. The Utah Republican Party made him their formal candidate on May 13, 2006 by giving him 78% of the delegate vote at the State Convention. In November, he faced Democrat Pete Ashdown, an Internet company executive, Libertarian Dave Starr Seely, Desert Green Julian Hatch, Constitutionalist Scott Bradley, and Personal Choicer Roger Price.

Senator Hatch ignored or refused open requests to participate in a series of debates.[9] Democrat Pete Ashdown asked that all Senate candidates "visit all 29 counties" in Utah during the summer but Hatch opted instead for "a debate or two" and refuses to "do it to a ridiculous extreme."[10] Hatch and Ashdown commenced this series of debates on October 11 at Tuacahn High School near St. George. Several days before the debate, radio hosts Shawn Ledingham and Justin Bowles of nearby Southern Utah University requested an interview with both candidates. The students, representing the university's public service program, the Rant and Raev Show, wished to allow students at the University an opportunity to hear the candidates' platforms. Both candidates agreed, although the interviews were conducted separately.

Hatch prevailed on election night, winning 344,416 votes (62%) to Ashdown's 169,369 (31%).

Musical career and Film appearance

Orrin Hatch plays the piano, violin and organ. Fueled by his interest in poetry, Orrin has written songs for many. (On the advice of U2 front-man Bono, he has put several of the songs under a pen name, "because it's you, man.") He co-authored "Everything And More," sung by Billy Gilman. In addition to his job as a United States Senator, Mr. Hatch has earned over $65,000 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.

Rock musician Frank Zappa composed a guitar instrumental entitled "Orrin Hatch On Skis," which appears on his album, Guitar (1988).

Hatch's song "Heal Our Land" was performed at George W. Bush's January 2005 inauguration.[11]

Hatch has even written works that count as hymns, often working with Janice Kapp Perry.[12]

Hatch appeared as himself in Steven Soderbegh's Oscar-winning drama Traffic (2000), in a brief cameo in a scene set during a Washington D.C. cocktail party.[13]

In 2009, at the request of The Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg, Hatch authored the lyrics to "Eight Days of Hannukah" [14], described by Goldberg as "a hip hop Hannukah song written by the senior senator from Utah."


In 2002, Hatch's book Square Peg: Confessions of a Citizen Senator was published by Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group. This book dissertates Hatch's life in the Senate, including the Confirmation Hearings of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. Many consider the book to be the Senator's memoirs. Senator Hatch also is the author of several law review articles.

Release of Dallas Austin

Hatch assisted R&B producer Dallas Austin's release from Dubai following a conviction for drug possession.[15] On May 19, 2006 Austin was arrested for bringing cocaine into the city, but hours after a local court sentenced Austin to four years in prison before deportation, on July 4 Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum pardoned and released him. Hatch has "good relations with the ambassador and other good people in Dubai," said his office in a statement.

Electoral history

  • 2006 Race for U.S. Senate
  • 2000 Race for U.S. Senate
    • Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.), 66%
    • Scott Howell (D), 31%
  • 1994 Race for U.S. Senate
    • Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.), 69%
    • Pat Shea (D), 28%
  • 1988 Race for U.S. Senate
    • Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.), 67%
    • Brian Moss (D), 32%
  • 1982 Race for U.S. Senate
  • 1976 Race for U.S. Senate

See also


  1. ^ Don't Make Me Think, by Steve Krug; Que Publishing, 2000; ISBN 0789723107
  2. ^ Orin Hatch Will Introduce Abortion Funding Restrictions in Senate Health Bill
  3. ^ Kahney, Leander (June 19, 2003). "Orrin Hatch, Software Pirate?". Wired Magazine.,1283,59305,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-02.  
  4. ^ "Hatch Says Democratic Win Could Help Terrorists". Salt Lake Tribune. August 17, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-01.  
  5. ^ Salt Lake City Tribune, August 9, 1998
  6. ^ Salt Lake City Tribune, August 29, 1998
  7. ^ a b Jim McElhatton and Jerry Seper (March 2, 2009). "Sen. Hatch's secret drug firm links; Drugmaker money to Utah senator's charity escaped disclosure". Washington Times.  
  8. ^ a b Chuck Neubauer, Judy Pasternak and Richard T. Cooper (March 5, 2003). "Senator, His Son Get Boosts From Makers of Ephedra; Orrin Hatch has kept regulators at bay and benefited via campaign donations. Lobbyists linked to his son have received $2 million". Los Angeles Times.  
  9. ^ debate request from Pete Ashdown's blog
  10. ^ audio from radio broadcast
  11. ^ Orrin Hatch - LDS Musician
  12. ^ - Music reviews, latest releases and just great people
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ [1]

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
Frank Moss
United States Senator (Class 1) from Utah
January 3, 1977 – present
Served alongside: Jake Garn, Bob Bennett
Political offices
Preceded by
Harrison A. Williams
D-New Jersey
Chairman of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee
January 3, 1981–January 3, 1987
Succeeded by
Ted Kennedy
Preceded by
Joe Biden
Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
January 3, 1995–January 3, 2001
Succeeded by
Patrick Leahy
Preceded by
Patrick Leahy
Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
January 20, 2001–June 6, 2001
Succeeded by
Patrick Leahy
Preceded by
Patrick Leahy
Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
January 3, 2003–January 3, 2005
Succeeded by
Arlen Specter
Party political offices
Preceded by
Laurence J. Burton
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from Utah
(Class 1)

1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006
Succeeded by
To be determined
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Dick Lugar
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Max Baucus


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Orrin Hatch

Orrin Grant Hatch (born March 22, 1934) is a Republican United States Senator from Utah, serving since 1977.


  • If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that […] if that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws.

External links

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Simple English

Orrin Hatch is a U.S. Senator from Utah. He is a Republican and a Mormon. He was good friends with Ted Kennedy when he was in the Senate.

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