Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shawn Bentley Award Presented at JRCLS Luncheon

Press release issued from the office of Senator Orrin G. Hatch on June 7, 2010.

WASHINGTON – Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today presented the prestigious Shawn Bentley Public Service Award to a current and a former student of Brigham Young University, Emily Hardman and Anne Sidwell.

In his remarks at the J. Reuben Clark Law Society luncheon, Hatch praised the two recipients of the award named after the late Utahn Shawn Bentley, a former Hatch staffer who died in 2005 at age 41 following a decade of stellar service on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Emily [Hardman] has an impressive public service record,” the senator said, noting that the BYU law student and Hyrum, Utah, native has clerked for the Utah Supreme Court and Utah County Attorney’s office and will be working this summer on the Senate Judiciary Committee to assist with the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court nomination proceedings.

As for Modesto, Calif., native Ann Sidwell, a BYU alum who now studies law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Hatch said she “has dedicated her professional and academic life to human rights issues,” noting that she did research for the late U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos for a congressional briefing on “honor killings” and has since “interned with Ayuda, the Tahirih Justice Center, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. This summer she is working for the Human Rights Law Foundation.”

Concerning the award’s namesake, St. George, Utah, native Shawn Bentley, Hatch called him a “close friend and colleague” who was respected on both sides of the aisle because of his sterling character and considerable achievements.

“Shawn was a one-of-a-kind individual who lived a life of service …,” Hatch said.

The Shawn Bentley Public Service Award provides stipends to law student recipients who have demonstrated a commitment to public service and a willingness to explore legal public service opportunities in the Washington, D.C., area.

Hatch also joined U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in presenting William Coleman Jr., an African-American who served as U.S. Secretary of Transportation during the Ford administration, with the Rex Lee Advocacy Award, which honors individuals who have exemplified excellent and principled advocacy throughout their careers.

Rex Lee served as U.S. Solicitor General in the Reagan administration and was the founding dean of BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. He also served as president of BYU from 1989 through 1995. He died in March 1996 from cancer.

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