I do not envy Sen. Jon Tester’s position right now. The left is enraged about President Donald Trump to the point of irrationality, and they are placing lots of pressure on senators to join in on their feverish campaign against anything and everything remotely related to the president.
Their AstroTurf campaign against Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court has been revealing. Even before the president had named his pick, they were protesting in front of the Supreme Court with printed signs that read “Stop” on the top and actually had a blank space at the bottom where they could write the name of whomever the president nominated — no matter their qualifications.
With that same faux outrage, they are threatening Sen. Tester and other senators up for re-election, demanding they, too, ignore the facts and oppose Gorsuch because of, well, Trump — or just to getback at Republicans for Judge Merrick Garland.
I hope Sen. Tester can see right through this and recognizes this is exactly what Montanans hate about Washington. The irrational, partisan bickering that has no relation to reality. Try as liberal groups might (and no matter how mad at the president they are), there is just no reasonable reason to oppose Judge Gorsuch.
Even the liberal American Bar Association gave Gorsuch its highest rating of “unanimous well qualified.”
As longtime Democratic lawyer David Frederick wrote in the Washington Post, there is just “no principled reason” to vote against Gorsuch. He wrote, “[M]y hope is to have justices on the bench such as Gorsuch and Garland who approach cases with fairness and intellectual rigor, and who care about precedent and the limits of their roles as judges.”
And he is not the only liberal to express the same sentiment. In a letter of support, more than 50 of his Harvard Law classmates, spanning the political spectrum, wrote:
We are Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and independents; progressives, conservatives and moderates; religious and non-observant; married, single and divorced; men and women; straight and gay. … What unites us is that… we unanimously believe Neil possesses the exemplary character, outstanding intellect, steady temperament, humility and open-mindedness to be an excellent addition to the United States Supreme Court.
Another letter featured more than 150 of his Columbia classmates, with similar diversity, “united in [their] belief that [Gorsuch] would serve our country with honor and distinction on the Supreme Court.”
This is simply a non-controversial nominee. But for the left’s anti-Trump proclivities, it would be one of the easiest votes Sen. Tester would face this year.
That was the case in 2006, when Judge Gorsuch was nominated to the second-highest level court on the land, the Court of Appeals (Tenth Circuit). He was actually confirmed by unanimous voice vote. It doesn’t get any more non-controversial than that. Not a single Democrat expressed any concerns with Gorsuch.
The vote included the very top of today’s Democratic leadership: Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden, Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, and Dick Durbin. Not to mention the most influential leaders of the party for more than a decade: then-senators Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton.
Judge Gorsuch was not controversial then, and he is not controversial now. His record has not changed. The only thing that has changed is the political landscape.
Let us pray Sen. Tester does not focus on the small but very vocal unhinged left, asking him to throw away reason and join the mob against Trump. They are certainly energized, but their energy is misguided at best and downright malicious at worse.
Montana deserves better than that.