Ohio’s United States senators on Tuesday introduced legislation to rename Dayton’s federal building and courthouse for U.S. District Court Judge Walter H. Rice.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) put forth a companion version of a House of Representatives bill brought by U.S. Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH-10).
“Judge Rice has spent his career in service to Montgomery County, and it is fitting that the Dayton courthouse, where he has devoted nearly four decades of his life, bears his name,” Brown said in a joint press release from the senators’ offices. “I join Sen. Portman and Rep. Turner in gratitude for Judge Rice’s service to the Dayton community as we work together to honor his legacy.”
President Carter appointed Judge Rice to the district court bench in 1980. Judge Rice served as Chief Judge of the court from 1996 until 2003. Before that, he was an assistant county prosecutor, a municipal court judge and a common pleas court judge.
“For more than four decades, Judge Rice has been a tireless advocate for justice, the people of Dayton, and the state of Ohio,” Portman said. “This is a fitting tribute to his life’s work, and I join Senator Brown and Rep. Turner in thanking him for his service.”
“Judge Rice has dedicated his entire career to serving justice in Dayton honorably,” Turner said. “Unanimously, our community panel recommended that the federal building be named after Judge Rice. I appreciate Senators Brown and Portman introducing companion legislation to my bill in the House to name this building after Judge Rice.”
In December, Rice told this news organization he plans to continue working.
“This does not mean retirement, and I hope to remain doing what I’m doing for many years,” Rice said. “But anytime that someplace where you’ve worked for 38 years might bear your name is a flattering deal beyond any ability to describe.”