Giffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick
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 Trump’s circuit court nominees.
The groups will run an ad campaign targeting GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), John Cornyn (Texas), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Thom Tillis (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.
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.
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 Feinstein (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.