Senate confirms circuit court judge by voice vote

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Hurwitz, who previously served as the vice chief justice on the Arizona Supreme Court, was confirmed by voice vote early Tuesday afternoon. The confirmation came less than 24 hours after the Senate narrowly approved a cloture motion on Hurwitz's nomination, in a vote of 60-31. Sixty votes were needed to end debate. 

"I am pleased that Andrew Hurwitz has been confirmed by the Senate. As a member of the Arizona Supreme Court for nearly a decade, Justice Hurwitz has proved an able jurist," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said in a statement.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.) objected to Hurwitz's nomination on Monday arguing that the vice chief justice was unable to separate his personal political beliefs from his obligations as a lawyer and judge.

"We do not need to add another pro-defendant activist judge to the 9th Circuit or to any other court," Grassley said Monday.

But other senators voiced strong support for Hurwitz's nomination.

"This is a nominee that I not only gladly vote yes on but I frankly ask my colleagues to vote yes because I absolutely, totally believe that he will decide cases based on the merits of the case, the facts of the law, not on the politics," Kyl said Monday.

Other senators grumbled that Hurwitz's qualifications were so good that his confirmation should have happened without any delay.

"Candidly, I'm surprised that a cloture vote is necessary today," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also said Monday.

—This story was updated at 3:14 p.m.