Less than 24 hours after the Senate voted to confirm extreme right-wing Judge Janice Rogers Brown to sit on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the Senate has confirmed yet another of President Bush’s far-right nominees. William J. Pryor, Jr. was confirmed by the Senate today for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Pryor, like Brown, had been blocked by Democratic filibusters and then re-nominated by Bush. Pryor was confirmed on a vote of 53 to 45 with Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Lincoln Chaffee (VT) joining with Democrats in voting no and Democrats Ben Nelson (NE) and Ken Salazar (CO) voting for confirmation.
Pryor is a staunch advocate of states’ rights who has openly voiced opposition to women’s rights and gay rights. He has called the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history,” and “the day seven members of our high court ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children.” He reaffirmed these statements at his Senate confirmation hearings. As Alabama Attorney General, Pryor challenged the constitutionality of the Violence Against Women Act and later wrote an article stating that the federal government should remove itself from efforts to protect women against violence.
“In voting to confirm William J. Pryor, Jr. to the Eleventh Circuit today, the Republican controlled Senate has joined President Bush in sending a grim message that women’s rights and and civil rights are in grave danger” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority.