Longtime Senator Orrin Hatch today announced his retirement from United States Senate. Hatch has been involved for decades in the fight to stop abortion and he was a key member of the Senate working to approve judges who would be friendly to pro-life concerns.
Although Hatch eventually disagreed with the pro-life movement on the important topic of embryonic stem cell research, he continued to steadfastly oppose abortion as a prominent member of the Senate.
Hatch could potentially be replaced by pro-life former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. As a former governor, Romney initially supported abortion but eventually changed to the pro-life position prior to ending his gubernatorial term and running for president.
The most senior Republican in the Senate announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of this term, closing out one of the most impressive legislative careers in modern congressional times.
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch’s announcement will set off a scramble in Utah, where Republicans have a deep bench.
Among those likely to give the race a look is Mitt Romney, Republicans’ 2012 presidential nominee, who made his reputation by running the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002, before later serving a term as governor of Massachusetts.
But with a GOP-dominated state government and congressional delegation, there are other potential candidates as well.
Mr. Hatch, as the senior member of the majority party, serves as president pro tempore of the Senate, putting him third in the line of presidential succession behind the vice president and House speaker.
He’s served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is currently chairman of the Finance Committee, where he wrote the Senate version of the tax overhaul that became law late last month.
“Every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves, and for me that time is soon approaching,” Mr. Hatch said in a YouTube video announcing his decision.
“There is an insensitivity to life in our society today. When you have 40 million babies that have been aborted since Roe v. Wade, there comes an insensitivity that affects all of us,” Hatch has said.