Once a possible candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court, Carlos R. Moreno’s consolation is to spend a few years spreading U.S. diplomacy in Belize.
Moreno is a retired judge of the California Supreme Court, where he cast the lone vote to overturn Proposition 8, the state’s ballot initiative that overturned same-sex marriage. His name was in the mix in 2009 to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, but President Obama wanted to, and then did, appoint a female judge.
Moreno is the son of Mexican immigrants, though he’s headed to the only English-speaking country in Central America. The Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination to be U.S. ambassador to Belize Wednesday afternoon.
During his confirmation hearing in October (yes, that was seven months ago because that’s how long noncontroversial nomination votes take these days), Moreno passed the ‘Have you even been to…’ test.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): Justice Moreno, have you been to Belize?
Moreno: “Yes, about two years ago, and I’ve also visited the adjoining countries of Mexico and Guatemala, so I’m familiar in particular with the Yucatan and some of the Mayan archaeological sites that were referred to earlier.”
That alone puts him miles ahead of other recent Obama ambassador picks.