Senate Confirms Bill Pryor to 11th Circuit

The Senate today confirmed Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, along with two Michigan judges, to the U.S. Court of Appeals after holding them up for a combined eight years.

Senate Approves Pryor for Appeals Court (AP)

The GOP-controlled Senate on Thursday approved former Alabama Attorney General William Pryor and Michigan nominees David McKeague and Richard Griffin for seats on the U.S. Appeals Court, completing an unprecedented run of long-delayed judicial confirmations. With a vote of 53-45, Pryor was approved for 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Atlanta-based court that handles federal appeals from Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Griffin was confirmed 95-0 and McKeague 96-0, both for seats on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

“These three nominees have waited a combined total of over eight years for their votes,”
President Bush said in a statement. “I applaud the Senate for today giving these fine nominees the up-or-down votes they deserve.”

While this was a foregone conclusion after the Gang of 14’s deal, it’s a good outcome. I don’t know much about the other controversial nominees beyond what I’ve seen in the press. I’ve followed Pryor’s career for years, though, and have met him in person a few times. He’s a decent, honorable fellow and well within the mainstream of American politics.

I’ve written about Pryor several times since OTB began. See, in particular:

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Thacker says:

    As you can see, Judges Griffin and McTeague were hardly controversial. They were being blocked because Clinton had nominated the husband of a cousin of Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who then organized a blockade of all other judges from Michigan in protest.

  2. John Thacker says:

    Boy, that wording was bad. The Clinton-nominated husband cousin was rejected by the Senate; Sen. Levin then organized the filibusters in response.

  3. James Taranto loves headlines like that.

    At first glance I thought it read, “Senate Confirms Bill, Prior to 11th Circuit” and I’m thinking, “Wow, these court really are into legislating from the bench, aren’t they.”