Joint news release from Tennessee congressmen
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 22, 2016 – U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) along with U.S. Representatives Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.), Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) today introduced a bill to name the new Nashville federal courthouse in honor of former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson.
Senator Alexander said: “Fred Thompson was one of Tennessee’s most celebrated public figures. After graduating from Vanderbilt University law school, he served in Nashville as Assistant United States Attorney. In 1973, Sen. Howard Baker named him minority counsel in the U.S. Senate Watergate hearings. In 1994, Tennesseans elected him United States Senator. He was an actor in more than 20 movies. It is appropriate to name the new federal courthouse in honor of Fred’s distinguished career as an attorney, Senate investigator, and United States Senator.”
Senator Corker said: “Fred Thompson served the people of Tennessee and our country with great distinction. Through his many different roles in public life, Fred never forgot where he came from, and our state and country miss his common sense approach to public service. I was proud to call him a friend and am pleased to join my colleagues to honor his life in this way.”
Representative Black said: “Fred Thompson was a statesman who led with conviction, and he was a visionary who helped turn our state into the conservative success story that it is today. Tennessee shines brighter because of Fred Thompson’s service. This courthouse will serve as a worthy tribute to his enduring legacy.”
Representative Blackburn said: “Fred D. Thompson had a long career in public service beginning with his work with Sen. Howard Baker. He was dedicated to first principles and conservative values. He went to school in Lawrence County, which is in my district, and the people there appreciate the contributions he made. Naming this federal courthouse to honor him is a great way to show our respect for his commitment to the people of Tennessee. I will be filing the companion legislation in the House and look forward to working with my colleagues to get it passed.”
Representative Cohen: “Fred Thompson served the United States and the state of Tennessee with distinction for 8 years in Congress. I was present when the National Conference of State Legislatures awarded him the Restoring the Balance Award for his dedication to federalism. For Fred, it was not a political or campaign issue, it was his philosophy. He was a proud graduate of the University of Memphis and the only U of M grad to ever serve in the U.S. Senate. Despite our political differences, Fred was always encouraging to me and I valued our friendship. He led an eclectic life from his time as an outstanding congressional staffer during the Watergate hearings and as a fine attorney, actor, and public servant. His was a life very well lived.”
Representative DesJarlais said: “From working as a young attorney highlighting corruption in the White House and Tennessee’s governor’s mansion, to being a familiar face on movies and television, to serving our state as a United States Senator, Fred Thompson will always be known as a favorite son of Tennessee. His service will be a part of the rich history of our state, and I am happy to join my colleagues in supporting this initiative.”
Representative Duncan said: “Fred Thompson was a strong, independent voice for Tennessee and somebody for whom I had great admiration and respect. Even though he achieved great national prominence, he never forgot his Tennessee roots.”
Representative Fincher said: “I am proud to recognize Fred Thompson as a great public servant and great Tennessean. As a prominent figure he never strayed from his small-town Tennessee values and always conducted himself with integrity. This federal courthouse will serve as a testament to his lifetime pursuit of justice and as an inspiration for those who walk in his footsteps.”
Representative Fleischmann said: “Senator Thompson had an incredible career as a U.S. attorney, columnist, actor, and legislator. Most importantly, however, he was a proud Tennessean and I’m pleased that a Federal Courthouse could soon bear his name.”
Representative Roe said: “Senator Thompson rose from humble beginnings to national prominence through hard work and perseverance. Fred dedicated much of his life to serving the state of Tennessee and this great country, and I am proud to join the Tennessee delegation to honor the memory of a great man I was lucky to call a friend.”
Full funding for construction of the new Nashville federal courthouse was provided by Congress last year in the fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which was approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in December of 2015. The new courthouse will be constructed by the General Services Administration and will be located at 719 Church Street.
Fred Thompson was first elected to the United States Senate in 1994 and served as a Senator from the State of Tennessee until 2003. Sen. Thompson graduated from Memphis State University in 1964 and Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1967. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the State of Tennessee before serving as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973. Sen. Thompson passed away on Nov. 1, 2015.
The legislation introduced today will now be considered by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.