- Post 18 June 2012
- By Copy Editor
Washington, DC – Last week, the Senate voted to confirm two individuals who are driven by their liberal ideologies, Mari Carmen Aponte and Andrew Hurwitz, and we have Republicans to thank. Mari Carmen Aponte was confirmed to be the Ambassador to El Salvador, and Andrew Hurwitz was confirmed to be a judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal position in which he will serve for life.
Liberty Counsel Action sent a letter to Senators encouraging them to vote against Ms. Aponte because she is being investigated by the FBI for her alleged involvement with a Cuban spy and because she jeopardized the relationship between the U.S. and El Salvador. In June 2011, when Ms. Aponte was serving as a recess appointee in the position of Ambassador to El Salvador, she published an article in a local Salvadoran newspaper denouncing El Salvador’s decision to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman. In response, a coalition of 22 Latin American groups sent a letter to the U.S. Senate stating, “Madam Ambassador Aponte has abused her diplomatic status, showing a clear disdain concerning our values and cultural identity, claiming to ‘guide’ us toward a shift in our way of thinking so that we may accept multiple forms of sexual behavior as legitimate, in the same way that President Obama promotes.” The Latin American groups asked the Senators to remove her as Ambassador.
Despite this, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) encouraged his colleagues to join him in voting to confirm Ms. Aponte after what was reportedly a closed-door meeting with President Obama, in which Sen. Rubio agreed to garner support for Obama’s controversial nominee, Aponte, and in return, Obama would provide concessions on unrelated policies involving Nicaragua and Cuba. Yesterday, after the negotiations, Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Richard Lugar (R-IN), John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) joined Sen. Rubio in voting for the confirmation of Ms. Aponte, despite having voted against her less than a year ago.
A lack of discernment with regard to nominations seems to be a trend in the Senate. Earlier in the week, after months of lobbying by Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and John McCain, Andrew Hurwitz was confirmed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a letter to U.S. Senators, Liberty Counsel Action Director of Public Policy Mandi Campbell encouraged Senators to vote against Andrew Hurwitz because he was partially responsible for the Roe v. Wade abortion decision.
Our letter to the Senators quoted Justice Stewart, who said Hurwitz was “the clerk who wrote the Newman opinion,” which provided the foundation for Roe v. Wade. Legal scholars, including Justice Ginsburg, admit that the Roe decision is not rooted in solid legal reasoning; nonetheless, in his law review article, Hurwitz praised the Court’s deliberation and decision in Roe. Hurwitz is a judicial activist who believes the courts should be used to advance public policy rather than interpret laws.
Campbell noted that checking Presidential power and preventing individuals like Mari Carmen Aponte and Andrew Hurwitz from serving in important and life-long positions are key purposes of the “advice and consent” process and key duties of the Senate. “The Senate was derelict in its duty this week. It is time that elected officials put principle above political horse trading,” Campbell said.