MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit spoke to students at Faulkner Law on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. The event was sponsored by The Federalist Society and the Student Bar Association.
Judge Pryor’s talk was on Justice Scalia’s jurisprudence, in particular his belief in the merits of democracy.
Pryor graduated from Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana, Monroe) in 1984 and earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Tulane University Law School in 1987. Judge Pryor was the editor-in-chief of the Tulane Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.
Judge Pryor served as a law clerk to Judge John Minor Wisdom of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1987-88. He worked as a private attorney at several Birmingham area firms from 1988-95, during which time he also served as an adjunct professor at Cumberland School of Law.
Judge Pryor later served as Alabama’s Deputy Attorney General from 1995-97. After then-Alabama Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ election to the United States Senate, Governor Fob James appointed Judge Pryor to serve as Alabama’s Attorney General. Judge Pryor served in that position from 1997-2004. On April 9, 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Judge Pryor to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Judge Pryor was confirmed and received his commission in June 2005.
President Barack Obama nominated Judge Pryor to serve as a commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission on April 15, 2013. On May 16, 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump named Judge Pryor among those he would choose to fill the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. On January 3, 2017, President Donald Trump named Judge Pryor as the Acting Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission.
Judge Pryor is a member of the American Law Institute and an Adviser for the Restatement of Law Third, Conflicts of Laws. He is a co-author, along with Bryan Garner, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and ten federal and state appellate judges, of a treatise, The Law of Judicial Precedent.