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 CollinsTrump sealed his own fate Congress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus MORE (Maine), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants Poll: Biden, Trump locked in neck-and-neck battle for North Carolina GOP senator: Russia should be labeled state sponsor of terrorism if intelligence is accurate MORE (N.C.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerTrump nominee faces Senate hurdles to securing public lands post The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE (Colo.) and Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstErnst says Trump should sign defense policy bill with military base renaming provision Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers to address alarming spike in coronavirus cases Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names 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 ClintonSusan Rice sees stock rise in Biden VP race Democrats try to turn now into November The Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump 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 SchumerChuck SchumerRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Public awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names 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.”