Alabama
12:22 pm
Fri February 20, 2004

Bush Appoints Pryor to Appeals Court

Washington, DC – With a blast at Senate Democrats, President Bush has gone over their heads to install another controversial appeals court judge. Acting while Congress is out of town, the president used a so-called "recess appointment" to place Alabama Attorney General William Pryor on the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta. The appointment's good until early next year.

In a written statement, Bush accused Democrats of unprecedented obstructionist tactics for wielding a filibuster against six of his nominees. At the same time, he praised Pryor for an impressive record. Pryor is an abortion foe who's directly criticized the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Last month, Bush used the same recess power to name Charles Pickering to an appeals post in New Orleans. Senator Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary committee, says Bush's appointments show he's bent on making the federal courts a "wing of the Republican party."