Orrin Hatch, a Republican Senator From Utah Who Was a Staple in State Politics, Died at the Age of 88.


David Mudd

He was 88 years old and had been a staple in Utah politics for more than four decades. He was the longest-serving Republican senator in history and a fixture in Utah politics for more than four decades.

His death was confirmed in a statement from his organisation, which did not provide a reason for his passing.

He is a staunch conservative on most economic and social matters, although he has collaborated with Democrats on a number of subjects throughout his long political career, including stem cell research, disability rights, and increasing children’s health insurance. He also developed ties with people on all sides of the political divide, particularly with the late Edward Kennedy.

Hatch also advocated for conservative causes like as abortion restrictions and assisted in the formation of the United States Supreme Court, including defending Justice Clarence Thomas against sexual harassment claims during his confirmation hearings.

orrin hatch death

Later, he became a close supporter of President Donald Trump, and he used his position as chairman of the powerful Senate finance committee to push through a significant rewriting of the United States’ tax rules to the president’s desk in 2017. In exchange, Trump assisted Hatch in delivering on a major issue for Republicans in Utah, namely, a contentious decision to dramatically reduce the size of two national monuments that had been designated by previous administrations.

His side career as a singer and recording artist, specialising in music with themes related to his religious beliefs, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was well-known when he announced his retirement in 2019.

His wife, Elaine, and their six children will take care of him in his final days.

The restriction or prohibition of abortion was one subject Hatch returned to often throughout his tenure, placing him at the forefront of one of the country’s most contentious debates. He was the creator of a number of “Hatch amendments” to the United States Constitution, all of which were intended to restrict access to abortion.

In 1991, he rose to prominence as one of Thomas’ most outspoken defenders in the wake of sexual harassment claims levelled by law professor Anita Hill. Hatch read aloud at the confirmation hearings from The Exorcist, and he suggested that Hill stole details from the book.

Hatch also played a role in passing legislation that strengthened child pornography regulations and made illegally downloading music a criminal offence under the law.

For Hatch, the issue of music downloads was a deeply personal one. He is a practising member of the Mormon church, and in his spare time, he enjoys writing religious songs and recording music as a way to unwind from the strains of life in Washington. In 2005, Hatch received approximately $39,000 in royalties from his songs.

Unspoken, one of his songs, was certified platinum when it was included on WOW Hits 2005, a compilation of Christian pop music, which was released in 2005.

He said he was not scared to engage in political combat and that he made it a point to fast become friends with those with whom he disagreed. A native of Pittsburgh, Hatch was used to dealing with bullies and learning to box as a child to defend himself against the onslaught of bigger, more powerful students.

orrin hatch death

He stated that “every good boxer knows when it’s time to hang up the gloves” on announcing his decision not to run for re-election in 2018.

Hatch, a former bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, first ran for public office in 1976, barely defeating Democratic senator Frank Moss. After relocating to Utah in the early 1970s, Hatch became the state’s junior senator.

After defeating Democratic Mayor of Salt Lake City Ted Wilson in the 1982 mayoral election, he went on to win an unprecedented second term by a wide majority.

He was never faced with a severe task again.

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