Giffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick

Giffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick
© Sen. Josh Hawley

Gun safety organization Giffords and judicial group Demand Justice plan to launch a joint ad campaign to pressure Republican senators to reject one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE's circuit court nominees. 

The groups will run an ad campaign targeting GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Schiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE (Maine), John CornynJohn CornynNadler gets under GOP's skin Restlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on Democrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public MORE (Texas), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Grassley signs USMCA, sending it to Trump's desk Progressive group launches campaign targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment MORE (Iowa), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses Tensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum MORE (Colo.) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisProgressive group launches campaign targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment Senate braces for bitter fight over impeachment rules Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump MORE (N.C.), all of whom are up for reelection in 2020, asking them to vote against Trump nominee Lawrence VanDyke

A vote on VanDyke's confirmation to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is slated for next week.

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The ads, which particularly highlight VanDyke's gun rights stances, will run on Facebook and Instagram starting Friday.

"This NRA mouthpiece shouldn't be a judge. Vote no," one of the ads will say, referring to the National Rifle Association.

There will also be advertisements customized with the name of each senator. 

Christopher Kang, Demand Justice's chief counsel, said in a statement that VanDyke "would use his lifetime judicial appointment to advance the NRA’s latest strategy — using our courts to strike down common-sense measures to prevent gun violence."

"Senators cannot claim to be horrified by mass shootings and then vote for a judge who will reject any effort to address them,” Kang added. 

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Giffords managing director Robin Lloyd said in the statement that "VanDyke's pledged fealty to the gun lobby’s agenda disqualifies him from a lifetime judicial appointment."

"If the Senate cares about ensuring that the people’s elected representatives retain the ability to craft solutions to the nation’s ongoing gun violence crisis, they must vote no on VanDyke,” Lloyd said. 

National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Nathan Brand called the ads "stunts by far-left groups working for their big dollar donors, not the American people."

“Left-wing special interests are desperate to obstruct a Republican U.S. Senate majority working to continue the best economic turnaround in U.S. history," Brand said in a statement to The Hill.

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinCalifornia Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat Biden wins endorsement of Sacramento mayor Roberts under pressure from both sides in witness fight MORE (D-Calif.) has previously raised questions about VanDyke's past statements on gun control, asking him about responses to a 2014 NRA questionnaire in which the senator said VanDyke answered that “Gun control laws are misdirected."

Updated: 6:20 p.m.