United States District Court Chief Justice Bolitha Laws and U.S. Court of Appeals Chief Justice Harold M. Stephens played instrumental roles in the lobbying for courthouse funds, served on the "committee of laymen" in design development, and presided over important events throughout much of its history. Chief Justice Laws became the most outspoken proponent of a new courthouse in the late-1940s, and numerous reporters quoted him regarding the need for a new building and law library facilities. In 1947 Laws and Stephens convened the Laymen's Committee on Improving the Administration of Justice, a group consisting of lawyers and judges who discussed design possibilities that could expedite courtroom procedures. This group made recommendations to Justement (the architect), which resulted in his incorporation of lounges, message centers, isolated jury deliberation rooms, and work areas for jurors into the courthouse design. In addition, Laws testified before the House Public Works Subcommittee, and stated a new courthouse was necessary due to the expanding caseload of an already congested court. Shortly thereafter, Justice Laws led the subcommittee on a tour through the old courthouse to demonstrate its extreme case overload. In early 1951, after the House had allocated $13 million to the courthouse project, Laws spoke before a House Appropriations subcommittee: "I have been trying with all my might to make this the largest and most important trial court in our Nation [sic], one of the very best." By late-1952 the courthouse's completion was seen as a "personal victory" for the judge. Upon opening in November of 1952, Justices Laws and Stephens also co-chaired the Committee for Public Display, which planned a commencement ceremony and public tours.