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KNOXVILLE — U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch spoke about the Supreme Court nomination process during his recent lecture in the James R. Cox Auditorium of the University of Tennessee Alumni Memorial Building.

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch

Hatch, the first speaker in the UT College of Law’s new Joel A. Katz-SunTrust Lecture Series, said Harriet Miers, newly nominated to the seat vacated by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, will do a find job even though she does not have prior judicial experience.

“The vast majority of Supreme Court justices never served on the bench and some of the greatest justices in the history of the court never preceded that service with a judgeship,” Hatch said. “You have to be competent, effective, with a good temperament and the knowledge and the background to be able to handle the job, but I believe in the case of Harriet Miers it’s going to be good to have somebody who has not served in a judicial capacity.”

A five-term senator from Utah, Hatch is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and leads the confirmation process of nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court, including that of Miers and recently confirmed Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Hatch is also the ranking Republican on the Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees America’s intelligence agencies.

He is an advocate of looser federal immigration policies and relaxed controls on stem cell research, but is in favor of stricter controls on usage of copyrighted material such as songs and films.

His interest in copyright issues springs from his second career as a musician. Hatch can sing and play the violin and piano, has written songs for himself and others, and has had success as a Christian music recording artist.

It is through this interest in music that Hatch met Joel Katz, a 1969 UT law graduate and law college benefactor and one of the best known and most successful music and entertainment lawyers in the U.S.

Katz has represented entertainment figures such as B.B. King, Jimmy Buffett, Sheryl Crow, George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Alan Jackson, and corporate clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, Gibson Guitars, Baldwin Piano, Nokia and Clear Channel Corporation.

“We are pleased to host Senator Hatch and we are grateful to Joel and SunTrust for supporting this lecture series,” said UT Law Dean Tom Galligan. “In the coming years students will have the opportunity to hear and interact with many national legal and legislative leaders in a variety of fields.”

Katz created the lecture series to give UT law students and the whole student body a chance to listen to national political, legal and entertainment figures.

The 2005 lecture is sponsored by SunTrust, one of the nation’s largest commercial banking organizations. SunTrust operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24-hour delivery channels.

SunTrust Bank, East Tennessee encompasses eight counties including Anderson, Blount, Hamblen, Knox, Loudon, Sevier, Sullivan, and Washington and is one of 20 regions within SunTrust Banks, Inc. The East Tennessee region delivers the full range of financial services of SunTrust Banks, Inc. locally through 53 locations and a staff of more than 650.

R.G. Smithson (865-974-0687)
Charles Primm (865-974-5180)