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Liberal super PAC launches ads targeting vulnerable GOP senators over SCOTUS fight

A prominent liberal super PAC is launching a new digital ad blitz targeting vulnerable Republican senators over the new Supreme Court fight gripping Washington following the death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader Ginsburg, George Floyd among options for 'Remember the Titans' school's new name Bipartisan anger builds over police failure at Capitol Lindsey Graham praises Merrick Garland as 'sound choice' to serve as attorney general MORE.

American Bridge 21st Century is launching digital ads hitting GOP Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Military survivors of child sex abuse deserve more NASA selects the next Artemis moonwalkers while SpaceX flies a Starship MORE (Iowa), Cory GardnerCory GardnerOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs denounce Capitol attack | Contractors halt donations after siege | 'QAnon Shaman' at Capitol is Navy vet Lobbying world Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (Colo.), John CornynJohn CornynCruz, Cornyn to attend Biden inauguration McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Rick Scott will 'likely' join challenge to election results MORE (Texas), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Additional airlines ban guns on flights to DC ahead of inauguration MORE (S.C.) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 Top GOP senators acknowledge Biden as president-elect after Electoral College vote MORE (N.C.), all of whom are facing competitive reelection battles.

All five senators have expressed support for President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi mum on when House will send impeachment article to Senate Democratic senator: COVID-19 relief is priority over impeachment trial The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history MORE’s (R-Ky.) plan to fill Ginsburg’s vacancy this year, drawing ire from Democrats who note the GOP declined to fill a seat in 2016 under then-President Obama.

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The ads, obtained exclusively by The Hill, work to highlight remarks the senators made in 2016 when Republicans, led by McConnell, declined even to hold a confirmation hearing for Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandBiden's new challenge: Holding Trump accountable Graham says he'll back Biden's CIA pick A Democratic agenda for impossibly hard times MORE, Obama’s pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after his death that February.

“I think this nominee should be chosen by the American people. The will of the American people should be heard, the next president should make that determination of who our next justice of the Supreme Court should be,” Gardner said in a 2016, comments featured in the ad against him, followed by text reading, “He’s preparing to break that promise.”

In his own 2016 remarks, featured in the South Carolina ad, Graham said, "I want you to use my words against me. We’re setting a precedent here today, Republicans are, that in the last year that you’re not going to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court."

The ad campaign is the latest sign Democrats are preparing to go on offense as Republicans look to confirm a nominee from Trump prior to inauguration day in January.

McConnell appeared to lock up the necessary votes needed for the GOP to overcome the 50-vote threshold in the Senate after Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt Romney'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE (R-Utah), seen as the last of a small handful of potential swing votes, announced he would be open to confirming a Supreme Court pick this year.

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Several other groups have rolled out ad blitzes against senators in the hopes that Democratic voters will be fired up over the Supreme Court vacancy this cycle, whereas GOP voters have been more enthused over judiciary appointments in past election years.

“A Supreme Court vacancy less than seven weeks before Election Day has dramatically raised the stakes in an already pivotal election for this country’s future,” American Bridge President Bradley Beychok said in a memo shared with The Hill. “A woman’s right to choose, voting rights, environmental protections and policies that level the playing field for working families all hang in the balance.”

“There will be no stone left unturned and nowhere for Republicans to hide. We will take the fight to Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans, and any nominee they attempt to force through before the American people have had their say.”