Riley Names New AG

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Gov. Bob Riley named his legal adviser, Troy King, as Alabama's new attorney general Monday. King replaces Bill Pryor, who resigned last month to take a temporary seat on a federal appeals court.

King, 35, takes over the $163,000 a year job as Alabama's top law enforcement officer.

In considering candidates to replace Pryor, the governor said he was looking at people who would be willing to run for a full term in the 2006 elections. King is no stranger to politics. The Elba native ran unsuccessfully for secretary of state in the Republican primary in 2002 and worked in Spencer Bachus' unsuccessful campaign for attorney general in 1990.

From 1995 to 1999, King worked in Gov. Fob James' legal office and served as deputy executive secretary. He worked in the attorney general's office from 1999 until he joined Riley's staff in January 2003 as legal adviser.

In the meantime, Bill Pryor's recent appointment to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being challenged.

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, a high-ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argues President Bush's action may be unconstitutional.

Pryor was appointed the Atlanta-based court on Feb. 20. The appointment came on the last day of Congress's weeklong President's Day holiday break.

The Constitution gives the president authority to install nominees in office when Congress is not in session.

The White House Monday defended Pryor's appointment as proper. Under Bush's recess appointment, Pryor will sit on the 11th Circuit until January 2006.

In a letter, Kennedy asked the 11th Circuit to determine the validity of the appointment, so no decisions are "tainted" in which Pryor may be involved.