When President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden was among the first to voice his opposition.
The five-term Democrat had this to say:
Gorsuch represents a breathtaking retreat from the notion that Americans have fundamental Constitutional rights.
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) February 1, 2017
But just as John Kerry “actually did vote for (the Iraq War) before I voted against it,” Wyden backed Gorsuch’s nomination by President George W. Bush to the 10th Circuit Court in 2006.
Wyden had no objections to Gorsuch, and neither did anyone else in the senate as he won confirmation unanimously. Among Democrats who voted for Gorsuch included Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Kerry, and the late Ted Kennedy.
But now, under pressure from liberal activists, Democrats appear to be digging in to oppose Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court even if it comes at a political cost.
It’s probably not a particularly difficult decision for Wyden, who easily won re-election in November and is from a safely liberal state of Oregon. But even in his case, Wyden might be feeling the heat since some Oregonians grouse that he’s really a “third senator from New York” as he splits most of his time between Washington and his New York City residence, where he and his second wife are raising their three young children.
Wyden is among Democrats who are pushing the narrative that Gorsuch is being nominated for a “stolen seat,” insinuating the vacancy should’ve gone to Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. But while it’s easy for Wyden to tread that path, it’s quite another for the 23 Democrats who must defend their senate seats in 2018, especially the 10 from states that voted for Trump.
Follow Samuel Chi on Twitter @ThePlayoffGuru.