President Bush Selects Another Pro-Life Judge Through Recess Appointment

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 20, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Selects Another Pro-Life Judge Through Recess Appointment

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 20, 2004

Washington, DC ( — President Bush has selected a second pro-life judicial nominee through a recess appointment, bypassing the Senate, where pro-abortion lawmakers have been stalling the confirmation process through filibusters. This time, Bush approved pro-life Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor to become a member of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"His impressive record demonstrates his devotion to the rule of law and to treating all people equally under the law," Bush said in a statement Friday.

Bush chastised the Senate, saying that Pryor would be confirmed with bipartisan support if a minority of senators would allow his nomination to have an up or down vote.

Pro-abortion senators have been "using unprecedented obstructionist tactics to prevent him and other qualified nominees from receiving up-or-down votes," the president said.

Nicholas Nikas, the General Counsel for Americans United for Life, was pleased with Bush’s recess appointment.

"Bill Pryor is a man of integrity and a first class attorney," Nikas told "As a federal appellate judge, he will faithfully interpret the law, not seek to make it over in his own image.

Nikas agreed with President Bush that the Senate has made a mess of the judicial process by constantly filibustering Bush’s pro-life nominees.

"It is unfortunate, and a sign of the times, that a well-qualified attorney general like Bill Pryor had to ascend to the federal bench by recess appointment and not on an actual vote of the Senate as set forth in the Constitution," Nikas explained. "The Senators who blocked the vote on General Pryor will have to live with the folly of that choice."

President Bush used a recess appointment in January to place pro-life nominee Charles Pickering on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Both Pryor and Pickering will serve in a temporary capacity and their terms will expire when the next Congress reconvenes in 2005. At that point both must undergo the nomination and confirmation process again.

Pryor drew praise from pro-life groups after his stalwart defense of his pro-life position during hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Pro-abortion Sen. Arlen Specter, of Pennsylvania, asked Pryor if a quote attributed to Pryor having him saying "the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law" was accurate.

Yes, Pryor said, the quote was accurate. Did Pryor stand by his words?

"I stand by that comment," Pryor said. "I believe that not only is [Roe] unsupported by the text and structure of the Constitution, but it has led to a morally wrong result. It has led to the slaughter of millions of innocent unborn children."

Specter seemed more than a little chagrined. "Well," he said, pausing for a moment and looking down, "let’s move on.

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