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Progressive group to spend $10M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy

Progressive group to spend $10M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy
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Demand Justice, a progressive outside group, is planning to spend $10 million on an ad campaign aimed at preventing the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgMcConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session Jaime Harrison raises million in two weeks for South Carolina Senate bid Dozens of legal experts throw weight behind Supreme Court term limit bill MORE's Supreme Court seat from being filled until after the presidential inauguration in January. 

"No confirmation til after Inauguration Day," Brian Fallon, the group's executive director, tweeted on Friday night

The spending, confirmed to The Hill by a source familiar, is an early sign of what is likely to be a massive spending battle on both sides over the fate of the Supreme Court seat, in what was already an unprecedented election year. 

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Democrats are already gearing up for a fierce fight to try to prevent Senate Republicans from filling the vacancy, arguing that it should be filled next year by whomever wins the White House in November.

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Trump announces opening of relations between Sudan and Israel Five takeaways on Iran, Russia election interference MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a tweet

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE (R-Ky.) announced within hours of the news of Ginsburg's passing that he will give whomever President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE nominates a vote. 

"President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate," McConnell said in a statement.

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate. That means Democrats and their allies would need to win over four Republican senators to prevent McConnell from filling the seat. 

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Fix Our Senate, a Democratic outside group, also announced a six-figure ad buy encouraging voters to contact senators and urge them not to fill the seat. The ad includes clips of McConnell's decision to refuse to give Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandSenators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session McConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session Republicans advance Barrett's Supreme Court nomination after Democrats boycott committee vote MORE, then-President Obama's nominee in 2016, a hearing or a vote. 

Conservative groups didn't immediately announce ad campaigns. But they are likely to pour in money in support of whomever Trump picks and to sway swing-vote Republicans and vulnerable Democratic senators, including Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.). 

Ginsburg's seat is the first Supreme Court vacancy since 2018, when Republicans confirmed Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMurkowski says she will vote to confirm Barrett to Supreme Court on Monday Collins says running as Independent 'crossed my mind' Clean energy opportunities in a time of crisis MORE. The Brennan Center estimates that nearly $10.37 million was spent in TV ads during Kavanaugh's confirmation battle.  

John Kruzel contributed.