More on Pryor

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on July 31, 2003

National Review's Byron York has more on the William Pryor nomination that I discussed earlier.

York comes to many of the same conclusions I did, namely that Democratic senators are not anti-Catholic per se, but their use of the abortion litmus test has a de facto effect of barring orthodox Catholics, evangelical Christians, orthodox Jews and Muslims from the bench. In theory, it would also affect atheists and agnostics who believe that abortion is morally wrong -- these people do exist, but they are an incredibly small minority of the population. Most opposed to abortion do so because of their beliefs that come out of a religious faith.

York also makes a persuasive point which, if Democrats were being intellectually honest, would seem to break the judicial logjam and rid them of the "anti-Catholic" smears.

The real issue has always been whether Pryor would allow his personal beliefs to affect his judicial decision-making. He has said that he would not, and points to his record as Alabama attorney general to show that he has in the past separated his personal beliefs from his professional obligations. In fact, Pryor would never have been able to be so candid with the committee about his personal beliefs had he not also been able to cite his record as solid evidence that he would follow the law. It was, perhaps, Pryor's most powerful argument for himself, one that Democrats were never able to counter.

It would be one thing if Democrats could demonstrate that Pryor's beliefs affected his enforcement of laws that he opposes. The problem is, they can't. That is why this appears to be a "crusade" against pro-life nominees.


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July 2003



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