President Bush's Recess Appointment Stands

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30pm EDT

( - The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld President Bush's recess appointment of Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to a seat on that same court.

The appeals court voted 8-2 on Thursday to reject Sen. Ted Kennedy's complaint that President Bush violated the Senate's right to confirm judges by appointing Pryor when the Congress was in recess.

"We are not persuaded that the president acted beyond his authority in this case: both the words of the Constitution and the history of the nation support the president's authority," the appeals court ruled.

Pryor's nomination was one of several that Kennedy and other Senate Democrats have been blocking on ideological grounds.

"Obviously, I disagree with the court's view that the president can bypass the Senate's constitutional role and appoint a federal judge during any Senate break no matter how short," Kennedy said on Thursday.

A civil liberties group, the American Center for Law and Justice, said it is pleased that the appeals court acted to protect the constitutional authority of President Bush in making recess appointments to the federal judiciary.

"From the beginning, it was our view that Senator Kennedy's challenge was legally flawed and we expected that his lawsuit challenging Judge Pryor's appointment would fail," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ.

The ACLJ said it expects Sen. Kennedy to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court - but nevertheless, it urged him to let the matter drop.

"We are confident that the President's authority will be upheld and urge Senator Kennedy to end his challenge to Judge Pryor's appointment and bring an end to the obstructionist tactics he is utilizing in the Senate to prevent up-or-down votes on President Bush's nominees."

See Earlier Stories:
Bush Uses Recess Appointment to Place Pryor on Appeals Court Bench (Feb. 20, 2004)
Legal Group Files Brief to Defend Pryor Recess Appointment (July 30, 2004)
Fight Brewing Over Pryor Court Nomination (June 12, 2003)

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