Appeals Court Questions Bush's Appointment
ATLANTA - A federal appeals court is asking the Bush administration to defend the president's appointment of a judge to its ranks while the U.S. Senate was out of session.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta, asked the Justice Department on Monday to intervene in a case contesting the appointment of former Alabama attorney general William Pryor to that court.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and others are backing a challenge asking the court to rule that the appointment was unconstitutional.
Bush appointed Pryor in February during a one-week recess of the Senate, which must confirm judicial nominees. The Constitution gives the president the right to appoint judges directly when Congress is not in session.