Liberal groups launches ads against prospective Trump Supreme Court nominees

Liberal groups launches ads against prospective Trump Supreme Court nominees
© Greg Nash

The liberal judicial advocacy group Demand Justice has launched a five-figure digital ad campaign to criticize prospective nominees to the Supreme Court from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE.

The court has no vacancies, but speculation that there will be an opening always spikes over the summer as the court nears the end of its term, and retirements are sometimes announced.

The Demand Justice ads began Tuesday, and are focused on two prospective candidates on President Trump’s short list for a future vacancy.

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The ads target Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Brett Kavanaugh, a judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ad slams Barrett as an outspoken opponent of the Affordable Care Act, who will vote to overturn it if elected to the court.

It criticizes Kavanaugh as someone who would back Trump if the court has to weigh in on whether he can be subpoenaed by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

The ad notes a law review article Kavanaugh wrote expressing his view that a president should get to decide whether and when he can be investigated, and that a sitting president should not be able to be indicted.

Brian Fallon, the nonprofit’s executive director, said the Ditch the List digital ad campaign first reported by BuzzFeed is an initial investment that could grow to seven figures if there’s a full-fledged confirmation fight.

“Typically we would be in a reactive posture awaiting a decision by the president about who he will nominate but this president took the unprecedented step of advertising the short list he’s going to pick from so our position is we can formulate judgments about these people now,” said Fallon, who served as press secretary for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: GOP women have a more difficult time winning primary races than Dems Mellman: (Mis)interpreting elections MORE’s presidential campaign and was a former spokesman for Obama-era Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Eric Holder: Calls to abolish ICE are 'a gift to Republicans' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump denigrates NATO allies, floats 4 percent solution MORE.

Trump has a list of 25 people who he would consider for the Supreme Court. It includes 15 federal appellate court judges, 9 state court judges and one U.S. Senator – Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R) of Utah.