William Pryor exits the federal courthouse in Montgomery, Ala., in 2004 after being sworn in as a judge on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Judge William Pryor in his own words

“For more than 30 years, the liberal agenda has been pushed through the courts, without a vote of either the people or their representatives. The courts have imposed results on a wide range of issues, including racial quotas, school prayer, abortion and homosexual rights. Those issues belong in Congress and the state legislature.”

— 1997 op-ed column in the Wall Street Journal

» Pryor hit from left and right on Supreme Court bid

“This issue should not be decided by nine octogenarian lawyers who happen to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

— February 2000 interview with the Montgomery Advertiser on the high court’s decision to rule on the constitutionality of the electric chair

“We are one vote away from the demise of federalism. Perhaps that means that our real last hope for federalism is the election of Gov. George W. Bush as President of the United States, who has said his favorite justices are Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas….I will end with my prayer for the next administration: Please, God, no more Souters.

— July 2000 speech to the Federalist Society, referring to Justice David Souter, a Republican appointee whose liberal decisions often frustrated conservatives

“Judges must apply all laws, faithfully and fully, in any controversy before them. I have never deviated from that perspective and I never will.”

— May 2003 statement in response to civil rights groups opposing his nomination

“The attorney general takes an oath, and my perspective as a state attorney general was that I had an obligation to take the Constitution seriously and to state the correct legal position. And if that meant I had to confess that a state law was unconstitutional, I did so.”

— November 2015 comments at a Washington meeting of the Federalist Society

“We recently reduced the penalties, basically across the board, for drug trafficking and made it retroactive. Now that’s a pretty cool policy job.”

— February 2016, before the Federalist Society, on his work as a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission

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