Monday, May 13, 2019

The influence of Judge Bill Pryor, with his ties to 1990s gay porn, seems to be growing as Trump seeks to pack Alabama courts with devotees of the Federalist Society

Judge Bill Pryor, with and without robe

A rational citizen might expect the influence of U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor to be waning, given his documented ties to 1990s gay pornography via and his reputed role as Karl Rove's right-wing fixer on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. But in the Age of Trump, -- where malice, fraud, and disrespect for the rule of law often are rewarded -- Pryor's influence actually appears to be growing.

How could that be, considering that Pryor is an (under cover?) acolyte of former U.S. Sen. and Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R-AL)? Who can forget Trump repeatedly spewing disrespect and disdain toward Sessions for recusing in the Robert Mueller probe? Who can forget Sessions slouching out of office in disgrace last November, at Trump's demand -- to ultimately be replaced by the even more corrupt William Barr?

So, how does Pryor, Sessions' chief protege (with whom he has a deeply personal and disturbing relationship), have influence on the upswing? It's not as if Pryor's personal career arc is going anywhere; in fact, it appears to be stuck in the mud, with even Team Trump retching at reports that he is a closeted homosexual, who has dallied with gay porn since the early 1980s.

Could it be that Sessions, during his time in the Trump campaign and administration, obtained enough dirt on the current occupant of the White House to sink the RMS Lusitania? Did Mueller do the public a grave disservice by letting Sessions off the hook for lying multiple times to Congress? Could House Democrats do something about that, if they have the courage?

We do not have solid answers to those questions at the moment, but we have seen evidence that connections to Pryor can help one receive a Trump nomination to a spot on a federal court -- and that suggests Sessions has stored up enough dirt to bring down the Trump White House in one stiff, elfin breeze.

Andrew Brasher
Just 11 days ago, the U.S. Senate confirmed Andrew Brasher to a judgeship at the Middle District of Alabama (based in Montgomery), replacing the ousted wife-beater Mark Fuller. In response to that, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall appointed Edmund LaCour Jr. to replace Brasher as the state's solicitor general.

Both Brasher (formerly of Birmingham's Bradley Arant law firm) and LaCour (formerly of the D.C. firm Kirkland Ellis, which produced William Barr) are former law clerks to Bill Pryor. And the Pryorian stench emanating from the Trump White House does not end there.

Corey Landon Maze, who awaits confirmation to a seat on the Northern District of Alabama, is another Trump nominee with ties to Pryor. From Alabama Political Reporter:

Maze served as Alabama solicitor general. He is a deputy Alabama attorney general. Born in Gadsden, Alabama, on Jan. 4, 1978, Maze graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University in 1996 and cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 2003.

After graduation, Maze joined the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, working under then-AG William “Bill” Pryor as assistant attorney general in Criminal Trials and Appeals.

In 2008, Attorney General Troy King selected Maze to be the solicitor general of Alabama.

In 2011, he became special deputy attorney general for civil litigation, a position he still holds.

Maze has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. This seat opened on June 22, 2018, when Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins moved to senior status.

Maze was nominated in the last Congress, but his confirmation was blocked by Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s blockade on judicial nominees.

The Vetting Room predicts that he will be confirmed eventually. Flake refused to allow judicial nominees to be confirmed unless legislation protecting Robert Mueller’s position was passed.

Republicans refused to comply with the dissident GOP senator’s demands, meaning that dozens of Trump nominees to the federal bench were not acted upon in November and December.

Brasher, Maze, and LaCour all are active with the Federalist Society. long a pet project for Bill Pryor. That suggests Team Trump is determined to fill the "Alabama Justice System" with officials who likely are more loyal to the Federalist Society than they are to the U.S. Constitution. If you live in Alabama and care about the rule of law, we suggest you keep an eye on this alarming trend.

The public also should not overlook signs that Pryor is a rotten human being, as outlined by Shane Rogers-Mauro, a classmate at Northeast Louisiana University who says Pryor sexually harassed him:

I was in college with Bill and knew him very well. We were in band together at Northeast Louisiana University. I also had “work study” for about three semesters with him, so we worked in the same small office for many, many weeks as part of our band scholarship.

The stories are all true. The Bad Puppy pictures are him. He was pretty flamboyant, and actually hit on me quite a bit, but I brushed him off as irritating. He was College Republicans president, and I was president of the Young Democrats of NLU.

In today’s world, [Pryor's actions] would certainly qualify as sexual harassment. In the early and mid 1980’s, we were all pretty closeted, and he was known to be gay. We used to argue for hours about Ronald Reagan’s 1984 win and other things, and I’m sure we are polar opposites today. He’s never tried to contact me nor have I spoken to him since college days.

What form did Pryor's harassment take?

There was a lot of touching, in a way that absolutely would be considered inappropriate today. Back then, nothing was inappropriate; you just sucked it up and moved on. Bill was very manipulative. He always wanted to go have dinner and discuss certain types of politics, like he was going to change your way of thinking.

He toyed with closeted gay folks. Back then, it was a demon, and he was into outing certain people. That's a nasty thing, and it would mess with people's lives. But Bill didn't give it a second thought. I think it was part of his illness.

Pryor even went so far as to out Rogers-Mauro, apparently out of jealousy over Rogers-Mauro's relationship with another gay student:

I was in a band fraternity -- Kappa Kappa Psi -- when Bill discovered I was seeing someone else, and he decided to out me to the rest of the band. Back then, outing was rotten thing to do because people were pretty much in closet. In fact, I would say that outing me, alone, was a form of sexual harassment. I was ostracized in the fraternity, and it pretty much ended my time in that organization.

Bill has a self loathing outlook, with his anti-gay opinions in court and in his public statements. That is so old school and disgusting to us all.

Rogers-Mauro still seems to struggle with the idea that Pryor could become a federal judge:

I don't have a lot of dirty stories about Bill; I never had any sexual interaction with him. He's got a wife and kids, which is pretty shocking. That is him in Bad Puppy. He was known as gay -- he was in percussion, a drummer -- and he had a mouth on him, saying things, about politics and other subjects, that he shouldn't have been saying. We worked together in work-study, so we got to know each other pretty well.

Edmund LaCour Jr.
I'm surprised he's an appellate-court judge. Not only is he not the right person for the job, with all of his prejudices, but I've never seen someone so conservative and cruel. We wrote Bill off as a pure radical; he was always glorifying Reagan. His views are so far right -- he was Republican this and Republican that.

This guy's evil. I've had no contact with him since college. From opinions and statements of last 20 years, I can see it's only gotten worse. How can he be a judge of others when he's so prejudiced in one direction. That goes beyond homosexuality or anything like that. He will try to get as high as he can. He's one of those power grabbers. You can't make judicial decisions in the right way when you are so far on the fringe.

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