'The American people deserve justice, not prejudice,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today strongly condemned the confirmation of William Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The Senate today confirmed Pryor for a lifetime appointment by a vote of 53 to 45, with three Republican senators voting in opposition to his confirmation and two Democrats voting in support. Since his initial nomination by President Bush in 2003, HRC has strongly opposed Pryor's nomination as he has a demonstrated track record of bias against the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.
"The American people deserve justice, not prejudice," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "We thank senators from both parties who stood with us and the civil rights community and we will continue to advocate for fair-minded judges and against radical nominees who would roll back basic civil rights. With judges like Pryor on the courts of appeal, the Supreme Court is more important than ever."
As Alabama's attorney general, Pryor consistently demonstrated bias against GLBT Americans, linking the state website to anti-gay advocacy groups. In an amicus ("friend of the court") brief filed in the Lawrence vs. Texas case, Pryor compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia. Last year, after receiving a recess appointment to the 11th Circuit, Pryor cast the deciding vote to deny rehearing a challenge to Florida's anti-gay adoption law.
"Anyone who lets their own personal prejudices shape their decisions from the bench poses a threat to the rights of all Americans," added Solmonese.
HRC has worked to oppose Pryor's nomination since April 2003, lobbying senators and doing educational work within the GLBT community about the importance of the judiciary to the fight for GLBT equal rights.
Pryor is one of only seven judges that HRC has opposed. The Senate has confirmed more than 200 of the president's nominees.
More than 175 national groups opposed Pryor's appointment, including the Log Cabin Republicans, Lambda Legal, the NAACP, NARAL Pro-Choice America, People for the American Way, the Sierra Club and World Association of Persons With Disabilities.
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