Ben Johnson


Senate vote moves pro-abortion Andrew Hurwitz closer to becoming a federal judge

Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 11, 2012, ( – One of the forces behind the Roe v. Wade opinion could be confirmed as a federal judge as early as tomorrow, after the U.S. Senate voted to advance his nomination for a vote Monday evening.

The Senate adjourned just past seven o’clock Monday evening, shortly after Hurwitz cleared a cloture vote, which ended debate on his nomination. That vote means the Senate will take up a vote to name him to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday morning. He is strongly favored to win confirmation from the Democrat-controlled Senate sometime this week.

Eight Republicans voted with the Democrats on the cloture motion.

Critics argue Hurwitz is a judicial activist temperamentally unsuited for the office.

Hurwitz “will be one of the strongest pro-abortion justices on the ninth circuit,” Clarke Forsythe, senior counsel at Americans United for Life (AUL), told when President Obama announced the nomination in January.

In a 2002 article for the New York Law School Law Review, Hurwitz boasted that as a judicial clerk 30 years earlier he had a hand in authoring the opinions Abele v. Markle I and Abele v. Markle II, which struck down two Connecticut laws banning abortion except to save the life of the mother.

The decisions, which established viability as the moment states could begin to regulate abortion, exercised “crucial influence” over Roe v. Wade

“It is impossible to read judge Hurwitz’s article and not conclude that he wholeheartedly embraces Roe, and importantly, the constitutional arguments supporting it,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, said Hurwitz “in effect took credit for helping to develop the legal architecture underlying what became Roe v. Wade.”

“That’s a tragic legacy, which Hurwitz expresses great pride in,” Forsythe told LifeSiteNews. 

Despite his history in Roe and his belief in the living Constitution, the New York-born member of the Arizona Supreme Court enjoys support among more liberal Republicans. Both Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl support the justice.

Kyl said if Hurwitz supports Roe, “So what?”

The cloture motion passed 60-31 on Monday evening.

In addition to McCain and Kyl, Republican Senators who voted to advance Hurwitz for a full Senate vote included Lamar Alexander, R-TN; Scott Brown, R-MA; Susan Collins, R-ME; Richard Lugar, R-IN; Lisa Murkowski, R-AK; and Olympia Snowe, R-ME.

Nine U.S. Senators, all Republicans, did not vote.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

His nomination cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee in March on a 13-5 vote, with Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma joining committee Democrats.

Hurwitz clerked for Potter Stewart, who supported the Roe v. Wade decision, before entering private practice. In the 1980s, he served as chief of staff for former Arizona governors Bruce Babbit and Rose Mofford, both Democrats.

Hurwitz was named to the Arizona Supreme Court in 2003 by then-Governor Janet Napolitano, who now serves as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in the Obama administration.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Arizona and the West Coast, is one of the most overturned courts in the nation. Its liberal rulings have led some to brand it “the Ninth Circus.”