William H. Pryor, Jr.

William Holcombe "Bill" Pryor, Jr. (born April 26 1962, Mobile, Alabama, USA) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Previously, he was the Attorney General of the State of Alabama from 1997 to 2004.


Born in Mobile, Alabama to William Holcombe Pryor, Sr. and the former Laura Bowles, he was raised a devout Roman Catholic. He attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile and earned his B.A. from Northeast Louisiana University in 1984 and his J.D. from Tulane University Law School in 1987, where he served as editor in chief of the Tulane Law Review. Pryor served as a law clerk to Judge John Minor Wisdom of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1987 to 1988. Pryor worked as a private attorney from 1988-95, serving as adjunct professor at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University from 1989-95. Pryor currently teaches federal jurisdiction at the University of Alabama School of Law.

From 1995-97, he served as Alabama deputy attorney general and became Alabama attorney general in 1997. He was, at that time, the youngest state attorney general in the United States. Pryor was elected in 1998 and reelected in 2002. In his reelection, Pryor garnered nearly 59 percent of the votes, the highest percentage of any statewide candidate.

Pryor received national attention in 2003 when he called for the removal of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who had disobeyed a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building. Pryor said that although he agreed with the propriety of displaying the Ten Commandments in a courthouse, he was bound to follow the court order and uphold the rule of law. Pryor personally prosecuted Moore for violations of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, and the Alabama Court of the Judiciary unanimously removed Moore from office.

Eleventh Circuit nomination and confirmation

Pryor was nominated to the Eleventh Circuit by President George W. Bush on April 9 2003 to fill a seat vacated by Judge Emmett Ripley Cox, who assumed Senior status. After his nomination stalled in the Senate due to Democratic opposition, he was installed as judge via recess appointment on February 20 2004 during the Congress's recess period, bypassing the U.S. Senate confirmation process. Pryor resigned as attorney general that same day and took his judicial oath for a term lasting until the end of 2006 when the next Congressional session would begin.

Many Democrats criticized him for his comments regarding homosexuality and abortion, as well as for what they described as his extreme right-wing views and reputation as a conservative who lacked the temperament to avoid being an "activist" judge. Pryor's nomination was prevented from being put to a vote in the U.S. Senate by Democrats who had filibustered his nomination.

On May 23 2005 Senator John McCain announced an agreement between seven Republican and seven Democratic U.S. Senators, the Gang of 14, to ensure an up-or-down vote on Pryor and two [http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/74897dbc-8491-49fb-a5ff-e7ca7b1c9ac5] other stalled Bush nominees, including Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. On June 9 2005, he was confirmed to the Eleventh Circuit by a vote of ( [http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00133 53-45] ). He received his commission on June 10 2005 and on June 20 2005, he was sworn in to his new lifetime judicial position at the age of 43. Pryor was the first and only judge appointed to the Eleventh Circuit by Bush and confirmed by the Senate.


Pryor is married to Kristan Wilson Pryor, and the couple has two daughters, Caroline and Victoria Pryor.

Pryor's father, William Holcombe Pryor, Sr. is a former band director and now Roman Catholic deacon at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, his own alma mater and that of his four children. [ [http://www.mcgill.pvt.k12.al.us/onCampus/alumni/HoFbiopages/pryor_sr.asp McGill-Toolen Catholic High School-About McGill-Toolen ] ]

ee also

*George W. Bush Supreme Court candidates


External links

* [http://www.usdoj.gov/olp/pryor.htm US DOJ webpage]
* [http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/judicialnominees/pryor.html White House judicial nominee biography]
* [http://www.newsmeat.com/judiciary_political_donations/William_Pryor.php Campaign Contributions Made by William Pryor]

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