Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Pryor: The Important Thing


As Jon mentioned, Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) has announced he will vote against Judge Alito. Too bad for Pryor. He will live to regret it. But that in itself is fairly boring, and irrelevant.

More interesting is this: Pryor claims he is voting “no” because he doesn’t believe Judge Alito can be “fair and impartial.” Even though every single federal judge who knows Judge Alito, every law clerk who has served under him, every colleague who has ever worked with him (including many liberals and Democrats) testify that Judge Alito is the epitome of fairness and impartiality, and the ABA believes him to be fair and impartial after rigorous analysis, Pryor thinks Judge Alito is likely to “legislate from the bench” and “come[s] with an agenda” to the court.

But Pryor — a member of the Gang of 14 — says in the same breath that he does not support a filibuster of Judge Alito.

O.K., let’s get this straight: allegedly having a conservative agenda, and purported being unable to be fair and impartial, is not a basis for the filibuster of any future nominee. It’s certainly good that we are getting this excuse for future filibusters off the table now.

Thanks, Mark.


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