The Honorable Judge William Pryor
Recently, you may have heard of William Pryor because he was on Trump’s short list for the US Supreme Court. After making it to the top three circle, he was eliminated from the running. Some thought he was a shoo-in because he was US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ top pick and mentioned by Trump often in the months before and after Trump’s election.
The most controversial of the 3 top Supreme Court nominees
There is plenty of speculation about why Pryor, the most controversial nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy, did not make it to the cherished seat on the US Supreme Court.
The People for the American Way posted a page of his rulings concerning areas like Civil Rights, Reproductive Rights and Cruel and Unusual Punishment to point out the radical leaning of his judicial rulings.
The Washington Post wrote that Pryor was “Unfit to Judge . . . Mr. Pryor’s speeches display a disturbingly politicized view of the role of courts.” (Apr. 11, 2003)
As Alabama’s twice-elected attorney general, Pryor defended the state’s practice of handcuffing prison inmates to hitching posts in the hot sun . . . . ultimately invalidated [Texas] state sodomy laws, arguing that “states should remain free to protect the moral standards of their communities through legislation that prohibits homosexual sodomy.”
. . . .an especially outspoken critic of abortion rights, calling Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history.”
The accusations (unproven) that Pryor posed for a Gay porn publication has been deemed untrue on Snopes, but the very existence of the rumor could be troubling to the Trump Whitehouse. On the other hand, the blogger of Legal Schnauzer, who Pryor mentions, is quoted often on this website and Free-Don.org because we find his citizen journalism to be careful and well researched. That does not mean the image is Judge Bill Pryor, but we respect the work of Roger Shuler, nevertheless.
The Youngest Attorney General in Alabama
In 1998, guided by political consultant and friend, Karl Rove, William Pryor won the office of Alabama Attorney General. One of the many ties that bind Bill Pryor and Karl Rove was their opposition to Don Siegelman’s stance against Big Tobacco. Pryor and Rove both campaigned for “tort reform” which makes it very difficult to sue large corporations, like Rove’s tobacco client – Phillip Morris, for injuries like tobacco related health problems.
William Pryor rarely claims his primary accomplishment as Attorney General of Alabama; he was pivotal to the investigation of his boss and Governor, Don Siegelman. Operating behind the scenes, Pryor was a shadow force shepherding Alabama toward Republican domination. A key strategy to accomplish this was the partisan use of the judiciary. Furthermore, Pryor used his office to forbad an election recount for a razor thin and extremely suspicious Gubernatorial win for Bob Riley.
Selective Justice – Prosecuting Foes, Protecting Friends
In 2007, Time Magazine Investigations revealed sworn FBI testimony that landfill developer Lanny Young admitted to making sizable illegal donations to Pryor’s campaign for state attorney general. Despite Pryor’s own blatant violations of contribution law, he used his new position as attorney general to initiate a criminal investigation of Siegelman within weeks of Siegelman’s moving into the Governor’s mansion. This required burying the sworn testimony about his own (and fellow Republican’s) significant campaign financing irregularities and zooming in on Siegelman’s lesser irregularities and even inventing crimes to assign to Siegelman.
Judge for Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Pryor, notoriously eager to get a lifetime appointment on the federal bench, was nominated to the Eleventh Circuit by President George W. Bush on April 9, 2003 and after a long struggle overcoming objections to his conservative activism from the bench, he was confirmed and sworn to the bench on June 20, 2005 at the age of 43. The Eleventh Circuit Court is where the Siegelman appeals would be heard.
Rove and Pryor Reunion
Karl Rove at a book signing in Birmingham with William “Bill” Pryor who President George W. Bush appointed to the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta as a political payoff for beginning the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Rove denied even knowing Pryor in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, even though he ran his campaign for Attorney General of Alabama in 1998. When Pryor greeted Rove at this event at Brookwood Mall, he said, “Hey bud,” and they hugged.