Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Know Bush Fact #10

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

Last Friday, February 20th, he did it again. Late in the afternoon, at the end of a week-long Congressional recess, Bush appointed Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Once again, he "recessed-in" a controversial ultra-conservative judge who could not get the support of the Senate.

And for good reasons.

When 36 state attorneys general urged the Supreme Court to uphold the Violence Against Women Act, Pryor alone argued that the law was unconstitutional.

He submitted a brief supporting Texas's law criminalizing gay sex.

He testified in favor of repealing a key part of the Voting Rights Act.

He urged the Supreme Court to take away the rights of 5 million state employees to sue under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Perhaps most interesting (and least reported) is his founding of the Republican Attorneys General Association, an organization which actively solicited campaign contributions for its members from industries that were at risk for large state lawsuits (such as firearms, paints, and tobacco), and laundered the money through a Republican PAC to conceal the identities of its donors.

To curb "lawsuit abuse," Pryor said before the Civil Justice Reform Group in 1999, "the business community must be engaged heavily in the election process as it affects legal and judicial offices."

Critics have charged that Pryor's RAGA effectively sells protection from state litigation.

Austin, Texas RAGA conference participants who contributed at least $5,000 were originally scheduled to attend an opening reception at then - Governor Bush's state mansion. But the event was cancelled the day that reporters questioned Bush's office about RAGA's stealth fundraising tactics.

To verify/research, Google: "Pryor +recess."

- February 25, 2004

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