(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Bill Pryor
Just in time for tomorrow's Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Bill Pryor's nomination, comes a Washington Times op-ed by noted right-wing lawyer Bruce Fein, about Alabama's Ten Commandments battle. What does it have to do with Bill Pryor's nomination? It is that Fein lambastes the many Republicans who have remained silent and failed to criticize Ala. Chief Justice Moore's position in that litigation.
The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy S. Moore, has forgotten that Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, not vice versa. Admired by some political conservatives, Justice Moore denies the constitutional authority of federal courts to issue rulings interpreting the establishment clause of the First Amendment that he is bound to obey.
    That the Alabama chief justice revels in seeking to unravel the rule of law shocks. And what multiplies the shock is the deafening Republican silence over Justice Moore's rebellion against the Constitution despite their characteristic celebration of law and order.
Though Fein doesn't mention it, among the Republicans who have remained publicly silent on the point -- and the Republican who by all rights should have been the most vocal on it -- is Bill Pryor, Alabama's Attorney General. Pryor's official website still includes no mention of the 11th Circuit's decision, many days after the issuance of that decision. And he has not publicly decried the intimations by Chief Justice Moore that Moore might not obey the 11th Circuit's mandate. Instead, Pryor has (according to the Mobile newspaper -- scroll down to last item) hid behind some patently absurd assertion that he shouldn't discuss the case because it might yet go to the Supreme Court. If there is any chance that any Republicans on the Judiciary Committee plan to do anything other than blind adherence to party politics, they should consider Pryor's silence in light of Fein's essay.

posted by sam 7:29 AM 0 comments


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