Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva hailed the passage of a bill to name the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Yuma, Ariz., after Judge John Roll, who was killed in the recent Tucson shooting that injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Roll was "a champion of justice and a leader in getting Arizona the legal resources it needs to administer cases fairly," Grijalva said after voting for the bill, which passed 429-0. The House vote formally approved a Senate bill (S.188) that had already passed, meaning it now goes directly to President Obama.
Roll, who served as a judge on the U. S. District Court for the District of Arizona since 1991 and as chief judge since 2006, had pushed for years to find Yuma the funding necessary to construct a new federal courthouse, which finally came through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. According to multiple witnesses, Roll died protecting Giffords' district office director, Ron Barber, who continues his recovery.
"Judge Roll was a great example to everyone of what a legal career can mean to a nation and a community," Grijalva said. "His passing was a very sad day for our state, and I can think of no greater tribute than to pass on his name to future generations through the courthouse he fought so hard to bring to Yuma."
The courthouse is still under construction and will be referred to in all subsequent instances as "The John M. Roll United States Courthouse."