William H. Pryor, Jr. of Alabama is a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He has served on the court since 2004. Judge Pryor became the Alabama Attorney General in 1997 upon Jeff Sessions’s election to the U.S. Senate. Judge Pryor was then elected in his own right in 1998 and reelected in 2002. In 2013, Judge Pryor was confirmed to a term on the United States Sentencing Commission. Judge Pryor received his law degree from Tulane, and he clerked for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
—Donald Trump Statement on Potential Supreme Court Justices May 8, 2016
US v. Phillips
Ted Phillips, wanted for questioning about a shooting, was arrested on a civil writ of bodily attachment for failing to pay child support. At the time of Defendant’s arrest, the officer found a firearm on his person. Defendant was then convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Phillips appealed, arguing that a civil writ of bodily attachment is not equivalent to a criminal arrest warrant and that as such, the search was unlawful under the Fourth Amendment. Judge Pryor disagreed, holding that “nothing in the original public meaning of ‘probable cause’ or ‘Warrants’ excludes civil offenses.”
Eternal Word Television Network v. Secretary
The Eternal Word network sought an injunction allowing it to forgo filing Form 700, a prerequisite to receiving religious accommodation under the Affordable Care Act. Because the filing of the form triggers the designation of a third party administrator for contraceptive benefits, Eternal Word claimed that this requirement infringed upon its First Amendment rights by requiring its complicity in providing contraceptive health insurance coverage to its employees. After the Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby, the Eleventh Circuit granted Eternal Word an injunction prohibiting the Secretary of Health from requiring the submission of Form 700. Judge Pryor, concurring, believed the requirement substantially burdened the Eternal Word’s First Amendment rights. He also doubted the government had a compelling interest in imposing the Form 700 accommodation and did not believe the accommodation would survive strict scrutiny.
Common Cause/Georgia v. Billups
The NAACP and voters sued Georgia for requiring in-person voters to present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote. The NAACP argued that the statute unduly burdened the right to vote in violation of the 14th Amendment. Judge Pryor and the Eleventh Circuit held that the statute. According to Judge Pryor, the statute was constitutional because the State had a significant interest in detecting and deterring voter fraud and the plaintiffs did not identify a single person who was unable to vote or faced an undue burden obtaining a photo ID.
Harris v. Schonbrun
Harris sought to rescind a loan she had entered into with Schonbrun, the trustee of a mortgage investment trust. Schonbrun had instructed her to simultaneously sign the loan and a postdated waiver of her right to rescind. Harris argued that since Schonbrun had failed to give her sufficient notice of her right to rescind, the right was extended to three years from the date of the loan. The district court examined whether Schonbrun had satisfied his statutory obligation to give Harris clear and conspicuous notice of her right to rescind the loan under the Truth in Lending Act, and concluded that he had not. Judge Pryor held the simultaneous execution of a loan and a waiver of the right to rescind precludes the possibility of clear notice.