NCJW Opposes Nomination of Alabama Attorney General William H. Pryor to 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

May 16, 2003, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has announced its opposition to the nomination of Alabama Attorney General William H. Pryor to the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. NCJW President Marsha Atkind has released the following statement:

“The extreme ideology that William H. Pryor would bring to the bench, including ardent opposition to the right to privacy and to the separation of religion and state, makes him a poor candidate for a lifetime seat as a federal appeals court judge. His espousal of “competitive federalism” would undo civil rights protections and social welfare legislation that have been the hallmark achievements of the 20th century.

“Mr. Pryor has declared ‘Abortion is murder,’ and he opposes abortion in all circumstances except to save the life of the mother. He labeled the day Roe v. Wade was decided as ‘the day seven members of our highest court ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children,’ and the decision itself as ‘the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history.’

“In his fervor to defend a judge sued for praying and displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom, Mr. Pryor told a rally that ‘God has chosen, through his son Jesus Christ, this time and this place for all save our country and save our courts.’

“These and other utterances of Mr. Pryor clearly mark him as a partisan on behalf of views far outside the mainstream of American legal thought. His nomination endangers the rights of women and all Americans, and should be defeated.”

NCJW is a volunteer organization, inspired by Jewish values, that works to improve the quality of life for women, children and families and to ensure individual rights and freedoms through research, education, advocacy, and community service programs initiated by its network of 90,000 volunteers, supporters and members nationwide. It has launched BenchMark: NCJW's Campaign to Save Roe, a national effort to educate and mobilize NCJW members, the Jewish community, and friends and allies everywhere to promote a federal bench with judges that support fundamental freedoms, including a woman's right to choose.