Tuesday, March 29, 2005
On this day:

Pryor's Opponents Repeat Allegations of "Extremism"

I guess when it comes to judging Judge Pryor, adherence to the text and intent of the law is classified as "extremism".

Pryor's opponents have zeroed in on cases they think prove that a conservative ideological bent infects his judgment.

"Pryor's brief service on the 11th Circuit has not in any way dispelled the serious concerns raised by his career of legal extremism or made him any more suitable for a lifetime appellate judgeship than he was a year ago," said Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way.
While the left continues to misrepresent Pryor's judicial philosophy, the Republican PR campaign to counter these assertions is somewhat "lacking in vision" at times. Senators Arlen Specter (R., Pennsylvania) and Jeff Sessions (R., Alabama) are quoted in the linked article.
There are "five opinions which he has written, which are progressive, moderate and I think show the kind of judicial demeanor which may be appealing to the Democrats," [Judiciary Committee Chairman Snarlin' Arlen] Specter told reporters last month. "Whether that will make a difference or not, I don't know." ...
To say that Pryor's decisions have been "progressive" borders on insult - to Pryor. Should we really try to sell a judicial appointee based on how "progressive" he is? Judges aren't paid to be progressive. Indeed, if all was right with the world, judges would be impeached for dictating notions of "progress" that are unsupported in the Constitution and laws. Senator Sessions's statement in favor of Pryor wasn't much better.
"Judge Pryor is doing a great job as circuit judge and winning praise from fair-minded observers," [Alabama Senator Jeff] Sessions said recently. "The recess appointment has provided Judge Pryor with an opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law and to prove that he would not take a political agenda to the bench. He has demonstrated just that, ruling in favor of the little guy on more than one occasion."
According to Senator Sessions, by "ruling in favor of the little guy on more than one occasion," Pryor has demonstrated "that he would not take a political agenda to the bench." But, wouldn't he demonstrate the same thing by ruling in favor of the big guy when the law requires it? Given the current political environment, it can be very difficult to rule against the little guy. Power and influence, or the lack thereof, do not imply moral (or legal) correctness. There are poor scoundrels and rich ones. The duty of the judge is not to determine who is poor or who is rich, but rather who - according to the law - is a scoundrel.

Senators Specter and Sessions deserve credit for doing their best to win Pryor's confirmation, but do they really have to adopt the language of the left to do it?