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Press Release

Earthjustice Takes to the Airwaves in Opposition to William Pryor Nomination

Earthjustice launches radio campaign urging listeners to oppose nomination of William Pryor

July 29, 2003

Contact:Glenn Sugameli, 202-667-4500 x 221
Cat Lazaroff, 202-667-4500 x 213

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William Pryor
Photo: White House
Washington, DC-- Earthjustice has launched a radio advertising campaign urging listeners to contact their U.S. Senators and ask them to block the lifetime federal appeals court nomination of William Pryor. The market-specific advertisements began airing this week, in coordination with state environmental groups, in select states, including Pennsylvania, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

William Pryor’s record as Alabama Attorney General is so extreme that his judicial nomination is opposed by record numbers of both national environmental groups and state and local environmental groups. If confirmed to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, he would be able to enact his own extreme political agenda through the courts, threatening a variety of key environmental safeguards.

As Alabama Attorney General, Mr. Pryor made sweeping efforts to invalidate core environmental protections and sided with corporate polluters. He failed to crack down on clean water violations. He testified before Congress that “EPA invaded the province of the States” by enforcing the Clean Air Act to prevent uncontrolled pollution increases at dirty coal-burning power plants and oil refineries (even though the pollution harms downwind States). Mr. Pryor was the only State attorney general to challenge the constitutionality of key Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act safeguards. He has also demonstrated hostility to claims of environmental injustice, stating unequivocally, “environmental racism claims should fail generally.” When the Judiciary Committee asked Mr. Pryor about environmental issues, he failed to answer questions and gave evasive responses.

“The goal of this campaign is to educate the public as to just what a nomination like this means,” said Glenn Sugameli, Senior Legislative Counsel at Earthjustice. “We depend on unbiased judges to decide the fate of our environment. Unfortunately, Mr. Pryor’s record as an anti-environmental ideologue makes him unqualified to be a fair and impartial judge of corporate challenges to decades of environmental progress.”

“Mr. Pryor’s record indicates that he would bring to the bench an activism that could seriously undermine decades of established federal environmental safeguards for clean water, clean air, endangered species, and environmental threats to the health of minority and other communities,” Sugameli said.

The complete transcript of the ad appears below. The ad will also be posted in mp3 audio format on the Earthjustice website, www.earthjustice.org. A letter to the Senate from Earthjustice and other environmental groups, a detailed analysis, and excerpts from editorials and commentary on Mr. Pryor’s lifetime nomination are available here.

 

:60 Advertisement

Clean water. Fresh air. Wild places. Defending our right to a safe environment against attacks by polluters depends on unbiased, fair-minded federal judges.

But President Bush is nominating extremists who would use the courts to promote their radical agendas. Nominee William Pryor has repeatedly sided with corporate polluters over environmental safeguards. As Alabama’s Attorney General, he testified before Congress that the EPA violated states’ rights by enforcing clean air laws to reduce acid rain. William Pryor even tried to convince the Supreme Court that vital protections for clean water and endangered species were unconstitutional.

Federal judges are appointed for a lifetime, and our Senators have a duty to ensure that nominees will not put extreme agendas ahead of our rights. Call Senators XXX and XXX today at 202-224-3121. Ask them to protect our air and water by opposing William Pryor’s nomination.

Paid for by Earthjustice. For more information, log onto Earthjustice.org