WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump has signed legislation naming Nashville's new federal courthouse after former Sen. Fred Thompson, the late actor who appeared in the TV series "Law & Order" and at least 20 movies.
Tennessee's congressional delegation announced the move Tuesday in a joint news release.
Thompson died in 2015. He was 73.
The Senate voted last month on a resolution that had already been passed by the House.
Thompson was a hard-driving Senate counsel during the Watergate hearings and later a popular actor and fleeting presidential hopeful in 2008. He commanded audiences with a booming voice, folksy charisma and a 6-foot-6 frame.
Besides a starring role in the "Law & Order" TV series, he appeared in such motion pictures as "The Hunt for Red October" and "Die Hard II."
Tennessee political leaders released the following statements today:
Senator Alexander: "Tennesseans and our country were fortunate that public service attracted Fred Thompson. His personality had a streak of magic – he was authentic, purposeful and principled – and he worked hard. The entire Tennessee delegation agrees it's very appropriate that the new Nashville courthouse be named for Senator Thompson, and I'm grateful the president signed legislation today to do so. It has given me a great deal of pride to be able to ask that this be done."
Senator Corker: "Fred Thompson was one of a kind. He served the people of Tennessee and our country with great distinction, and through his many different roles in public life, Fred never forgot where he came from. I was proud to call him a friend and am pleased the president has signed this legislation into law."
Representative Blackburn: "Fred Thompson was a neighbor and friend who made a lasting impression on the state of Tennessee. He loved our state and her people. With the President's signature on this bill, Fred Thompson's legacy of service, leadership, and care will be celebrated and stamped in time."
Representative Black: "Fred Thompson was a statesman who led with conviction, and he was a visionary who helped turn our state into the conservative success story that it is today. Tennessee shines brighter because of Fred Thompson's service. This courthouse will serve as a worthy tribute to his enduring legacy."
Representative Cooper: "I am thankful that the 20-year process of getting a new federal courthouse for Nashville is finally nearing completion. Sens. Alexander and Corker deserve great credit, as does our House appropriator, Rep. Fleischmann. The Thompson Courthouse should be a place where every American can get equal justice under law."
Representative Cohen: "It was an honor to be a cosponsor of the bipartisan bill in the House to honor my friend Fred Thompson. Fred served the United States Senate and the state of Tennessee with distinction for 8 years. He was a proud graduate of the University of Memphis and the only U of M grad to ever serve in the Senate. I was present when the National Conference of State Legislatures awarded him the Restoring the Balance Award for his dedication to federalism. For Fred, it was not a political or campaign issue, it was his philosophy. Fred was always encouraging to me and I valued our friendship. He led an eclectic life from his time as an outstanding congressional staffer during the Watergate hearings and as a fine attorney, actor, and public servant. It is most appropriate that we name the federal courthouse in Nashville after this great American."
Representative DesJarlais: "From working as a young attorney highlighting corruption in the White House and Tennessee's governor's mansion, to being a familiar face on movies and television, to serving our state as a United States Senator, Fred Thompson will always be known as a favorite son of Tennessee. His service will be a part of the rich history of our state, and I am happy to join my colleagues in supporting this initiative."
Representative Duncan: "This is a fitting tribute to Senator Fred Thompson who was a strong, independent voice for Tennessee and somebody for whom I had great admiration and respect. Even though he achieved great national prominence, he never forgot his Tennessee roots."
Representative Fleischmann: "Senator Fred Thompson gave many years of dedicated service to Tennessee and this great nation. I am very pleased the Senate passed the legislation naming a Federal Courthouse after him, and I'm glad President Trump signed the bill into law."
Representative Kustoff: "Fred Thompson was an accomplished lawyer, a talented actor and a true statesman. Most importantly, he was a dedicated public servant and a proud Tennessean. I am pleased President Trump signed this legislation to name the Nashville courthouse in his honor. I was glad to know him and could not think of a more perfect way to pay tribute to his remarkable life and legacy."
Representative Roe: "I'm proud President Trump signed this bill to honor Senator Fred Thompson into law. Fred was a dedicated public servant and a dear friend to me and so many others, and it is fitting the Nashville Federal Courthouse will bear the name and memory of a great statesman and Tennessean."
Full funding for construction of the new Nashville federal courthouse was provided by Congress in the fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which was approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in December of 2015. The new courthouse will be constructed by the General Services Administration and will be located at 719 Church Street.
Fred Thompson was first elected to the United States Senate in 1994 and served as a Senator from the State of Tennessee until 2003. Thompson graduated from Memphis State University in 1964 and Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1967. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the State of Tennessee before serving as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973. Thompson passed away on Nov. 1, 2015.
On Jan. 9, members of the Tennessee delegation introduced a bipartisan bill to name the new Nashville federal courthouse in honor of Thompson. On March 7, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the legislation, and the Senate passed the legislation on May 24.