- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2018

A conservative advocacy group began an ad campaign Monday to pressure four Democratic senators in red states to back President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The Judicial Crisis Network’s $1.5 million ad buy in West Virginia, Indiana, Alabama and North Dakota is the group’s fourth ad blitz, totaling roughly $5 million since Mr. Trump announced his pick to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

The ads will air on television and online.

A recent North Star Opinion Research poll also shows a majority of the voters, including independents, in all four states want the Senate to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, who now sits on the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia.

“Red state Democrats have a choice: stand with their constituents and support President Trump’s extraordinarily qualified Supreme Court nominee, or stand with Chuck Schumer and be a rubber stamp for the extreme liberal special interests,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network.

West Virginia’s ad says Sen. Joe Manchin is using “a dishonest talking point he got from a liberal Chuck Schumer” when he says the vote for Judge Kavanaugh comes down to health care.

The Alabama ad calls on Sen. Doug Jones to vote for Judge Kavanaugh. Mr. Jones was elected after Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, the president’s first Supreme Court nominee, was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

“Now we get to see who Doug Jones really is,” the Alabama ad says.

The North Dakota and Indiana ads both ask whether Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Sen. Joe Donnelly will side with their constituents who back the president and his pick, or they will side with liberals in Washington.

Mr. Donnelly is also facing pressure to meet with Judge Kavanaugh from his challenger, Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun.

“Senator Donnelly’s inability to even schedule a meeting with Judge Kavanaugh is another reminder that he puts the interests of the Democrat Party before Hoosiers, and I urge Sen. Donnelly to put partisanship aside and meet with him immediately,” Mr. Braun said.

Meanwhile, progressives are targeting Alaska, Colorado, Nevada and Maine with digital and newspaper ads, calling on senators from those states to reject Judge Kavanaugh.

The Human Rights Campaign and the Nation Women’s Law Center launched the ads, saying the nominee presents threats to the gay community and abortion rights.

In particular, the groups are trying to woo Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowsi of Alaska, both Republicans, to block the pick. Both women have said they would not support a Supreme Court nominee who would make abortion illegal.

“This ad campaign will help expose Brett Kavanaugh’s record and urge voters to contact their senators to reject his nomination,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

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