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Sens. push to name courthouse after slain judge

A photo of U.S. District Judge John M. Roll sits in the middle of a candle-light memorial for the victims of the shooting in Tucson, Arizona, at the State Capitol in Phoenix on Saturday, January 8, 2011. Roll was one of six people killed and 12 injured, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, in gunfire at a town hall meeting outside at a strip mall in Tucson earlier in the day. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

A new courthouse being built in Yuma could be named after U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, one of the six who died in the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson.

Arizona Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain announced Friday they were drafting a new bill to name the future building the “John M. Roll United States Courthouse.”

“Our state has lost an outstanding jurist … we believe naming the soon-to-be constructed courthouse in his honor is befitting the rich legacy he leaves behind,” Kyl and McCain said in a joint press release.

Roll approved the design of the Yuma courthouse not long before his death, according to the release.

Construction on the new courthouse is scheduled to begin July 2011 and is expected to be complete by 2013.

On Jan. 8, Roll stopped by the Safeway where the shooting took place to see congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He was caught in the line of fire and killed at the scene.

Roll was laid to rest Friday. The judge joined the court in 1991 after being nominated by former President George W. Bush.

Yuma County Superior Court Judge Mark Wayne Reeves said he had worked with Roll in the past.

“He loved his family and friends, and he loved very much what he did,” Reeves said.  “It would be a high honor to have the court named after him.”

Andrew Gould, another superior court judge from Yuma, said naming the new courthouse in honor of Judge Roll would be a wonderful gesture.

“He was everything a judge could be. He was the real deal,” Gould said.

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