An Arizona Supreme Court justice was confirmed as a U.S. appellate judge Tuesday, despite complaints from conservatives that he influenced the Roe v. Wade ruling while a law clerk four decades ago.
The Senate confirmed Andrew David Hurwitz by voice vote, elevating him to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals serving Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, California and, Arizona.
The decision to confirm Hurwitz without a roll call angered Sen. Charles Grassley, ranking GOP member on the Judiciary Committee who opposed the nomination. A Democratic leadership official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name, said a deal to avoid a roll call was worked out between Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Republican leaders. .
Grassley, speaking on the Senate floor, said, "I was shocked and disappointed" with the decision to bypass a roll call. "I was not so informed, and I'm ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. It seems to me that all the business of the Senate is based upon trust between one senator and another. It seems to me that that trust has been violated. "
Grassley did not name anyone. However the deputy Republican leader, John Kyl of Arizona, supported the nomination. Kyl bristled at the suggestion that he cut a backroom deal to confirm the judge by voice vote.