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 TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE's circuit court nominees. 

The groups will run an ad campaign targeting GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBill Barr is trying his best to be Trump's Roy Cohn The new American center Democratic Senate campaign arm raised more than .5 million in January MORE (Maine), John CornynJohn CornynOcasio-Cortez announces slate of all-female congressional endorsements Trump Medicaid proposal sparks bipartisan warnings Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony MORE (Texas), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstOvernight Health Care: Ernst endorses bipartisan bill to lower drug prices | US partnering with drugmakers on coronavirus vaccine | UN chief says virus poses 'enormous' risks Ernst endorses bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill to lower drug prices Progressive group backs Senate candidates in Georgia, Iowa MORE (Iowa), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way The Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada 8 people arrested outside Trump rally in Colorado for 'obstructed traffic' MORE (Colo.) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada Top GOP super PAC spent money on NC Democrat The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate 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 lawmakers mark Day of Remembrance for Japanese internment Democratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe House passes bipartisan bill to create women's history museum 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.