While the Senate took a week off for Washington’s Birthday, President Bush used a recess appointment to place Alabama Atty. Gen. William H. Pryor on the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. This was Bush’s second recess appointment. In January, he used the procedure to elevate U.S. Judge Charles W. Pickering to the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

Pryor, who riled liberals by calling Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law,” had been approved by the Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote, and had been one of six Bush nominees blocked by Democratic filibustering. Under the rules, Pryor can serve until the end of the 2005 congressional session.