Bill Pryor's recent appointment to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being challenged. Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, a high-ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argues President Bush's action may be unconstitutional.
Pryor, who resigned as Alabama attorney general, was appointed the Atlanta-based court on Feb. 20. The appointment came on the last day of Congress's weeklong President's Day holiday break. The Constitution gives the president authority to install nominees in office when Congress is not in session.
The White House defended Pryor's appointment as proper. Under Bush's recess appointment, Pryor will sit on the 11th Circuit until January 2006.
In a letter, Kennedy asked the 11th Circuit to determine the validity of the appointment, so no decisions are tainted in which Pryor may be involved.