US House passes Fergus Federal Courthouse billPublished 12:38pm Monday, September 30, 2013
The U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday passed a bill that would rename the Fergus Falls Federal Courthouse after a former Minnesota chief judge.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Collin Peterson and co-sponsored by the Minnesota House delegation, is in honor of Edward J. Devitt. The new name would be the Edward J. Devitt United States Courthouse and Federal Building. Peterson first introduced the bill in June.
“Judge Devitt was popular among his colleagues, was a friend and role model to countless judges and I’m pleased to help honor someone so deserving of this recognition,” Peterson said.
Devitt served on the federal bench for 38 years after first being appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower to the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in 1955. In 1959, Devitt was named chief judge for the district. He remained in the position until 1981.
During his decades on the bench, Devitt presided over numerous cases in the Fergus Falls Courthouse and came to be closely identified with the city.
The federal courthouse in Fergus Falls serves a population of more than 610,000 people in west central Minnesota. It covers the cities of Fergus Falls, Moorhead, East Grand Forks and Bemidji, as well as the Red Lake and White Earth Reservations.
The Senate companion bill is being introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and co-sponsored by Sen. Al Franken.