Court Battles

Conservative groups unleash ad blitz in support of Barrett’s nomination


A trio of conservative groups on Saturday announced plans to spend millions of dollars in support of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, previewing what will be an expensive and intense confirmation battle in the weeks before Election Day.

Judicial Crisis Network, Americans for Prosperity and Susan B. Anthony List all announced significant ad campaigns moments after President Trump made Barrett’s nomination official at a Rose Garden ceremony. Liberal groups are expected to spend millions in opposition to Barrett’s nomination as well. 

America First Policies, the main outside group backing President Trump’s campaign, said it would spend more than $5 million on national television, digital and direct-mail ads for Barrett, with the first TV spot debuting during the first presidential debate on Tuesday.

Judicial Crisis Network, which focuses on the nomination and confirmation of conservative judges, said it expects to spend at least $10 million in support of Barrett. The group already launched a $2.2 million campaign urging swing state Republicans to move forward with Barrett’s confirmation despite it coming so close to the election.

The organization on Saturday unveiled a $3 million ad buy that focuses on her qualifications from the court. The ads will air in Colorado, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Utah and Washington D.C.

“Justice Ginsburg was confirmed in 42 days, Justice O’Connor in 33, and both confirmations were nearly unanimous,” Carrie Severino, president of Judicial Crisis Network, said in a statement. “But Democrats won’t be able to bring themselves to support Judge Barrett because they are beholden to leftwing extremists who want to pack the Supreme Court and defund the police while our cities burn.”

Susan B. Anthony List, a group that backs pro-life judges and political candidates, plans to invest seven figures in support of Barrett’s confirmation. The organization on Saturday announced a six-figure ad digital ad campaign that highlights her pro-life views.

“We call on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to speak out forcefully against pending attacks on Judge Barrett’s Catholic faith, and we call on them to immediately release their Supreme Court candidate list.”

Americans For Prosperity, meanwhile, will target Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia with ads urging senators to confirm Barrett.

The organization reached more than 1 million people through its campaign in support of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and expects to exceed that number during Barrett’s confirmation process.

“Any senator, of any party, who wants a Supreme Court that puts the Constitution first, interprets the law as written, and protects our freedoms should be thrilled by Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination and commit to her prompt confirmation,” said Casey Mattox, vice president for legal and judicial strategy at Americans for Prosperity.

Conservative groups spent roughly $16 million in support of Kavanaugh’s nomination in 2018, which played out over roughly three months.

Barrett’s confirmation is likely to be a sprint as Republicans hope to hold a final vote on her nomination before Nov. 3. Democrats have vehemently opposed filling the seat previously held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day, but appear to have little leverage to stop the Senate process from barreling forward.

Instead, Democrats are expected to focus on arguing that Barrett’s confirmation would pose a threat to health care accessibility and reproductive rights.

Demand Justice, a progressive group with a focus on the judiciary, is planning to spend $10 million on an ad campaign aimed opposing Barrett’s nomination.

Updated at 6:54 p.m.

Tags Brett Kavanaugh Donald Trump Joe Biden Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court Supreme Court nomination

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