Jun 09 2005


WASHINGTON, DC - During a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) urged his colleagues to support Judge Bill Pryor when his nomination comes to the Senate floor. Judge Pryor, who has been nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, is scheduled to be voted on at 4:00 p.m. EST today. Senator Shelby’s floor statement, as prepared, is included below:

“Mr. President, I rise today to express my strong support for the nomination of Bill Pryor, to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. I have known Bill for many years and have the highest regard for his intellect and integrity. He is an extraordinarily skilled attorney with a prestigious record of trying civil and criminal cases in both the federal and state courts. He has also argued several cases before both the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of the State of Alabama.”

“As the Attorney General of the State of Alabama, Judge Pryor established a reputation as a principled and effective legal advocate for the state and distinguished himself as a leader on many important State issues. During his tenure as Attorney General, it was his duty and obligation to represent and defend the laws and interests of the State of Alabama. And while he may not have always agreed with those laws, he consistently fulfilled his responsibility dutifully and responsibly.”

“Long before being nominated to the 11th Circuit, Judge Pryor made it a priority to be open and honest about his personal beliefs, which is what voters expect from the persons whom they elect to represent them.”

“Yet he has shown again and again that when the law conflicts with his personal and political beliefs, he follows the law as articulated by the Constitution and the Supreme Court.”

“Despite his detractors, I believe it is important to note that actions speak louder than words, and certainly, Judge Pryor's actions since joining the 11th Circuit speak volumes about his fairness and impartiality. During his brief tenure on the Court, Judge Pryor has authored several opinions that effectively demonstrate his willingness to protect the rights of those often overlooked in the legal system.”

“Mr. President, in light of all of the information that has been presented here today, I believe that we must confirm Judge Pryor. Bill Pryor is a man of the law and that is what we need in our federal judiciary. Whether as a prosecutor, a defense attorney, the Attorney General of the State of Alabama, or a federal judge, he understands and respects the constitutional role of the judiciary and specifically, the role of the federal courts in our legal system. Indeed, I have no doubt that he will make an exceptional federal judge because of the humility and gravity that he brings to the bench. I am also confident that he will serve honorably and apply the law with impartiality and fairness - just as he has done during his brief tenure.”

“Mr. President, I again want to encourage my colleagues to support Judge Pryor's nomination because I believe it is what is right for our people, and it is what is right for our country. Mr. President, I yield the floor,” Shelby concluded.

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