Bench Memos

Mark Pryor, Running Away from His Support for Obama Judicial Nominees

Last week, the Judicial Crisis Network released this video, which will be running on TV stations in Arkansas over the next two weeks:

The video highlights the extent to which Mark Pryor has served as President Obama’s loyal toady when it comes to judicial nominations. As we explain, he has voted for every single one of President Obama’s liberal judicial activists, and supports President Obama’s ongoing plan to pack the D.C. Circuit — an underworked court — with judges whose concept of judicial review coincides pretty neatly with the Obama political agenda.

Mark Pryor’s office has circulated this document in response to the video, explaining that he did not vote for three of President Obama’s judicial nominees. Well, he ain’t a lawyer for nothin’. Each of the three votes cited by his office involved nominations for which he didn’t vote at all, and which were confirmed without opposition.

Sheri Chappell: 90-0 (Pryor did not vote)

Edward Davila: 93-0 (Pryor did not vote)

Joseph Greenaway: 84-0 (Pryor did not vote)

In other words, every single time Senator Pryor voted on a judicial nominee, his vote was to support President Obama, and he does not deny that fact. Or, to put it another way: He has never voted against one of President Obama’s judicial nominees. None. Zero.

Pryor’s office also claims that he “took [a] lead role in confirming Bush judicial nominations.” Again, he ain’t a lawyer for nothin’. Conveniently omitted is the fact that he supported the historic obstruction of Miguel Estrada’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit, which was eventually withdrawn after he was filibustered seven times.

So, we’ll say it again: When it comes to judges, Mark Pryor puts Obama first and Arkansas last.

Carrie Severino — Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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