Citing the Pryor appointment, Democrats accused Bush of playing politics with judicial nominations–as if the Democratic filibuster of six nominees was not politically motivated. In truth, Bush had both substantive and political incentives for the recess appointment.

First, as the Washington Times reported, “The Administrative Office of U.S. Courts listed the vacancy in the 11th Circuit that Judge Pryor has just filled as a judicial emergency, since the seat had been vacant since December 2000.” Secondly, although Pryor’s from the South, his status as a pro-life Roman Catholic appointee will help Bush make his case among pro-life Catholic voters in Midwest swing states, who will be alienated from Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s left-wing views on social issues and judges