Thursday, March 03, 2005

Who is Bill Pryor of Alabama?

- A 'judicial extremist' according to the obstructionist Democrats who blocked his nomination to Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. (He is serving there now on a Bush recess appointment)

- An inconsequential sacrificial lamb to Snarlin' Arlen

- a former Alabama attorney general who enjoys broad, bipartisan and multiracial support in Alabama.

The liberal Anniston Star, for instance, in the same editorial that urges filibusters against most of President Bush's nominees, writes that "Pryor, who possesses a brilliant legal mind, cannot be so easily dismissed. . . . Pryor has been proven capable of setting aside his ideology when it matters most. . . . [He] helped shut down [Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's Ten Commandments] sideshow and, in the process, displayed personal courage. That alone ought to convince Democrats currently blocking a vote on Pryor to give him a chance."
That's why, against his own personal predilections, he refused, as attorney general, to enforce part of a new state law against partial birth abortions: because that section contradicted clear U.S. Supreme Court precedent. That's why, against his own predilections, he enforced the very portion of the Voting Rights Act that he and his Georgia Democratic counterpart opposed. And that's why the leader of Alabama's top black, Democratic organization endorsed him as a judge who "will uphold the law without fear or favor," while former Democratic AG Bill Baxley said Judge Pryor always acts "without race, gender, age, political power, wealth, community standing, or any other competing interest affecting his judgment."

Yes, we in Alabama proudly support Bill Pryor. His career--as public intellectual, successful prosecutor, cultural-bridge-builder and man of conscience even at his own political peril--represents many of the traits the national media has always said Alabama lacks. Until he came along, our most famous exemplar of such character was the fictional Atticus Finch. Now that we can offer a real-life Atticus, we're more than a little angry that the Washington elites want to reject him.

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