Pro-Abortion Senator Attempts to Derail Pro-Life Judge’s Appointment

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

Pro-Abortion Senator Attempts to Derail Pro-Life Judge’s Appointment

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 9, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Not satisfied that a filibuster prohibited the confirmation of pro-life judicial nominee Bill Pryor and forced President Bush to use a recess appointment to place him on a federal appeals court, pro-abortion Sen., Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is calling the appointment unconstitutional and attempting to derail it.

On Monday, Kennedy called the appointment of pro-life Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals unconstitutional, saying that Bush didn’t follow the right process.

Kennedy is taking his challenge of Pryor’s appointment directly to the appeals court and urging the other judges on the court to prevent Pryor, who has already been sworn in, from sitting in on cases the court hears.

The Constitutional allows presidents to issue "recess appointments," which generally last from one session of Congress until the beginning of the next. However, Kennedy claims such appointments can only be made between sessions rather than during a session’s holiday break.

However, a White House spokeswoman told the Associated Press that Pryor’s appointment was well within constitutional guidelines.

"The president properly exercised the power granted to him by the US Constitution," White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said.

In a letter to the other 11th Circuit Court judges, Kennedy claimed that any decision they make in agreement with Pryor may be subject to challenge as invalid. The letter cites a Supreme Court ruling last year that stipulates that federal courts can only include judges named as per the rules set forth in the Constitution.

Kennedy will not file an official lawsuit seeking to undo Pryor’s appointment.

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

"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," Pryor told members of the Senate panel.

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