Dem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors
© Greg Nash

A group of Senate Democrats are demanding that a prominent GOP judicial group disclose its donors, citing their heavy spending in the confirmation fights over Supreme Court Justices Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchConservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Top GOP super PAC endorses Murkowski amid primary threat Trump-era grievances could get second life at Supreme Court MORE and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughConservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Supreme Court weighs whether to limit issuance of exemptions to biofuel blending requirements The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP makes infrastructure play; Senate passes Asian hate crimes bill MORE

More than a dozen Democratic senators, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), sent a letter to Carrie Severino, the chief counsel and policy director of Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), asking for a list of the group's donors. 

"Over the last week, the Judicial Crisis Network began a $1.1 million ad campaign calling for greater transparency by progressive advocacy organizations in the judicial nominations process. Yet, despite your organization’s claimed commitment to transparency, JCN continues to conceal the identity of its donors," the senators wrote in their letter.

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The group spent heavily during the confirmation fights for Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, and worked to oppose Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Infrastructure, Cheney ouster on deck as Congress returns One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors DOJ faces big decision on home confinement MORE's nomination to the high court during the final year of the Obama administration.

The Democratic senators want JCN to release the names of all its donors who have contributed more than $10,000 since 2017, its total number of donors since 2017, the total number of donations under $100 since 2017 and the percentage of donations made since 2017 by corporate entities and the names of those corporations. 

Severino, in a statement, argued that the Democratic letter put their "hypocrisy on 'dark money' directly before the public."

"We assume their intention, however, is actually to try and distract the public from the continued deception on the part of their liberal 'dark money' allies and their secret list of potential judicial nominees post-2020 elections," she added. 

The group began running an ad last week arguing that 2020 candidates should release a list of potential Supreme Court picks, similar to what President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE did during the 2016 campaign.

The ad referenced a recent New York Times article detailing efforts by outside liberal advocacy groups to game plan for judicial nominations after Trump leaves office. According to The New York Times, the groups do not plan to make their list of judges public. The article does not suggest that 2020 Democratic campaigns have put together a list of potential judicial nominations. 

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