The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 20, 2004

Statement on Appointment of William H. Pryor Jr.
Statement by the President

Today, I exercised my constitutional authority to appoint William H. Pryor Jr. to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Bill Pryor has served as the Attorney General of Alabama since 1997 and has had a distinguished career as a public servant and practicing attorney. His impressive record demonstrates his devotion to the rule of law and to treating all people equally under the law. He has received widespread bipartisan support from those who know him and know his record. I am proud to name this leading American lawyer to the appellate bench.

Attorney General Pryor was nominated more than 10 months ago, but still has not received an up-or-down vote in the Senate. A bipartisan majority of Senators supports his confirmation. If Attorney General Pryor were given a vote on the floor of the Senate, he would be confirmed. But a minority of Democratic Senators has been using unprecedented obstructionist tactics to prevent him and other qualified nominees from receiving up-or-down votes. Their tactics are inconsistent with the Senate's constitutional responsibility and are hurting our judicial system.

As a result of today's recess appointment, Attorney General Pryor will fill a seat on the Eleventh Circuit that has been designated a judicial emergency. He will perform a valuable service on a court that needs more judges to do its work with the efficiency the American people deserve and expect. Again I call on those in the Senate who are playing politics with the American judicial system to stop so that my nominees receive the up-or-down votes they deserve.


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