U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama says Bill Pryor's temporary appointment as a federal judge could be made permanent next year by a U.S. Senate that will have four more Republicans than it did this year.
Sessions said Thursday he expects the White House to renominate Pryor to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Sessions says that could trigger another debate in the Senate about whether to confirm Pryor for the lifetime post.
Pryor, Alabama's former attorney general, was placed on the bench by President Bush during a holiday break in February 2004.
Opponents in the Senate had prevented his confirmation from coming to a floor vote. U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy even sued, claiming Pryor's appointment was illegal. His argument was rejected.
Pryor's term expires at the end of next year unless the Senate acts.