Mainstream Republican Groups Oppose Nomination of William Pryor

Nominee's Record Makes Him Unsuitable for Lifetime Appointment

May 11, 2005 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) – Two mainstream Republican groups are launching a grassroots effort to defeat the nomination of William Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. "Log Cabin Republicans and the Republican Majority for Choice are activating our nationwide grassroots memberships to put pressure on Republican Senators to oppose William Pryor's nomination," said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Guerriero. "William Pryor's words and actions make him unsuitable for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench," said Jennifer Blei Stockman, National Co-Chair of the Republican Majority for Choice.

"We support the confirmation of all fair-minded jurists, however, Mr. Pryor's record is so out of step with mainstream Republican values and contemporary jurisprudence that our organizations are compelled to forcefully oppose his nomination," continued Guerriero.

William Pryor has gone out of his way to oppose equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans. He authored an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court defending Texas's discriminatory statute, and in particular a state's interest in singling out same-sex relationships for punishment, even though his own state's statute made no distinction between same and opposite-sex relationships. Pryor's brief compared same-sex relationships to pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia. The Court rejected Mr. Pryor's argument that gay and lesbian Americans may be branded as criminals because some in a state disapprove of them. In Lawrence v. Texas, Justice Anthony Kennedy – who was appointed by President Reagan – dismissed as "demeaning" the arguments that Mr. Pryor made before the Court. Mr. Pryor advances a jurisprudence that is profoundly out of step with American legal thinking.

William Pryor has repeatedly made references to the Roe v. Wade decision as "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history." In a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Pryor again reiterated his belief stating he opposed the decision as being "morally wrong"; this decision was not based on legal reasoning. He has referred to the 1973 decision as 'the day seven members of our highest court ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children.' He does not believe in abortion, even in cases of rape or incest; a view out of step with the majority of Americans.

"Nominees like William Pryor, with a record of pre-formed, inflexible ideals do not rise to the standard set by President Bush during the last election," said Stockman. "Based on his own testimony no one can reasonably believe that Mr. Pryor will respect established law and practice judicial temperament untainted by personal prejudice. This is a lifetime appointment to our federal court system, an un-elected body that relies on its integrity to maintain the trust of the people. Judicial activists do not have the temperament to hold that trust."

Republican Majority for Choice and Log Cabin Republicans are launching an aggressive lobbying and grassroots effort to urge Republicans in the Senate to oppose Mr. Pryor's nomination. "We urge all fair-minded Republicans to contact their Senator today and tell them to oppose William Pryor's nomination," said Log Cabin Political Director Chris Barron.

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office, and a federal political action committee.

Republican Majority for Choice is the largest pro-choice organization in the GOP. RMC's nationwide membership and state chapters represent the 73% of Republicans who support the right to choose.