by Steven Ertelt
October 14, 2004
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — A federal appeals court has ruled that President Bush’s appointment of a pro-life nominee to it’s membership was appropriate, even though the appointment came during a Congressional holiday recess.
Pro-abortion Sen. Ted Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, 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 claimed recess appointments can only be made between sessions rather than during a session’s holiday break.
In an 8-2 decision, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.
"We are not persuaded that the president acted beyond his authority in this case: both the words of the Constitution and the history of the nation support the president’s authority," wrote Chief Judge J.L. Edmonson.
Kennedy decried the 11th Circuit’s decision saying, "I disagree with the court’s view that the president can bypass the Senate’s constitutional role and appoint a federal judge during any Senate break no matter how short."
He said he hopes the Supreme Court will consider the Pryor case.
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.
Bush appointed Pryor to the court after pro-abortion lawmakers in the Senate filibustered his nomination.
President Bush also used a recess appointment in January to place pro-life nominee Charles Pickering on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
While regular appointments are for life, recess appointments are only temporary. Pryor’s term on the court concludes at the end of 2005. Bush would have to renominate Pryor at that time.
Related web sites:
11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – https://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions