Progressive group targets GOP senators on Trump court pick

Progressive group targets GOP senators on Trump court pick
© Greg Nash

Demand Justice, an outside progressive group, is targeting a handful of Republican senators up for reelection in 2020 over a controversial court nominee. 

The group is running digital ads aimed at GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes MORE (Maine), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisTillis says impeachment is 'a waste of resources' GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren, Sanders overtake Biden in third-quarter fundraising MORE (N.C.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerBennet reintroduces bill to ban lawmakers from becoming lobbyists GOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' The Hill's Morning Report - Dem debate contenders take aim at Warren MORE (Colo.) and Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate Farmers: New Trump ethanol proposal reneged on previous deal Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate MORE (Iowa) ahead of the Senate’s vote on Chad Readler’s circuit court nomination. 

“Chad Readler is the architect of the Trump legal strategy to roll back Obamacare. A vote for Readler is a vote to get rid of protections for people with preexisting conditions,” said Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon.

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Collins, Tillis, Gardner and Ernst are up for reelection in purple states and viewed as top targets by Democrats. Collins and Gardner, in particular, are running in states won by 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton trolls Trump with mock letter from JFK to Khrushchev Trump-Graham relationship tested by week of public sparring Sunday shows — Mulvaney seeks to tamp down firestorm over quid pro quo comments, Doral decision MORE and are viewed as vulnerable. 

“Senator Susan Collins says she supports protections for people with pre-existing conditions. So why would she vote to support Chad Readler?” reads a version of the Demand Justice ad targeting Collins.

Democrats and their outside group allies have homed in on Readler’s nomination because of his views on an anti-ObamaCare lawsuit. The Senate will take a procedural vote on Readler’s nomination on Tuesday. 

Readler, who previously worked as an assistant attorney general for the civil division at the Department of Justice, filed a brief last year supporting a lawsuit filed by Texas and other states seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act.

All 47 Democrats are expected to vote against Readler’s nomination, but they can’t block him on their own. Democrats nixed the 60-vote filibuster for district and circuit court judges in 2013. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTurkey says soldier killed despite cease-fire in Syria Schumer calls for FDA to probe reports of contaminated baby food How Trump and Pelosi went from bad to worse MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Tuesday that Republicans couldn’t both support Readler and say they support protecting people with pre-existing conditions. 

“It’s all well and good to say you want to protect them but those promises and pronouncements mean next to nothing if they won’t vote to reject a lifetime appointment for the man who played the starring role in the legal effort to take these conditions away,” Schumer said. 

Fallon, who previously worked for Schumer, added that Republicans “are in a bind because they like to pretend to support the most popular parts of Obamacare, but voting for Readler will make hypocrites out of them all.”