NCJW Appalled by Recess Appointment of William Pryor

February 20, 2004, Washington, DC – In response to today’s recess appointment of Alabama Attorney General William H. Pryor to the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, NCJW President Marsha Atkind released the following statement:

"NCJW is appalled by the President's recess appointment of William H. Pryor to a seat on the US Court of Appeals. Pryor's extreme right wing ideology, including his ardent opposition to the right to privacy and to the separation of religion and state, threatens our fundamental freedoms.

"Mr. Pryor believes '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.'

"When an Alabama judge attempted to display the Ten Commandments in his courthouse, 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.' Only when a US District Court judge banned the display, and with his nomination on the line, did Pryor decide to uphold the Constitution.

"For these reasons, a sufficient number of Senators refused to allow his confirmation. The President's decision to disregard this judgment is an affront to all those who cherish our constitutional liberties."

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 for all through its network of 90,000 members, supporters, and volunteers 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.