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New Yuma courthouse named for judge unveiled

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YUMA, Ariz. (AP) - Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several current lawmakers from Arizona dedicated a new federal courthouse Thursday named for the judge who was killed in the 2011 Tucson shooting rampage.

Giffords, and U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake were among those who spoke at a ceremony at the John M. Roll U.S. Courthouse, the Yuma Sun reported.

"I'm still fighting to make the world a better place, and you can too," said Giffords, who was accompanied by an aide at the podium.

Giffords only spoke for a few minutes. She urged people to "be passionate, be courageous, be your best."

Giffords worked with Roll, who served as chief federal judge in Arizona, when she represented Arizona's 8th Congressional District. They worked together to get approval and resources for the planned courthouse, according to an editorial Giffords wrote in The Arizona Republic on Wednesday.

Roll was one of six people killed in the January 2011 shooting that wounded Giffords and 12 others.

"I cannot imagine a greater example of character or selflessness than Chief Judge John Roll, and it is only fitting the new Yuma courthouse be named in his honor," McCain said.

Roll signed off on the design of the new courthouse days before his death.

The $33.4 million courthouse includes a solar panel canopy, two courtrooms, judges' chambers and other court-related offices.

The courthouse likely won't be the backdrop for any criminal trials. Pre-trial hearings and immigration issues would be among the matters handled there, officials at the ceremony said.

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