The vacancy on the Supreme Court created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement could reshape campaign spending in the final stretch of the 2018 midterm elections.
The way donations are allocated could now affect different races and different candidates, as a high-stakes seat hangs in the balance.
WASHINGTON — When Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the US Supreme Court last Wednesday, he did more than just create a historically significant opening on the highest court — he also indirectly upended the way advertising will be prioritized for a large chunk of the final stretch of the 2018 midterm elections.
Within hours of Kennedy’s announcement, conservative groups launched their offensive to maintain public pressure to confirm whomever President Donald Trump decides to nominate.
Immediately, the Judicial Crisis Network, which pushed heavily for Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, released a 30-second video advertisement as part of a seven-figure campaign to confirm “another great justice,” despite not even knowing who the next nominee would be.
“President Trump has proven he wants the best of the best on the Supreme Court. He appointed Neil Gorsuch, a fair and independent justice committed to the Constitution,” the ad said. “Now there is another opening, a chance to appoint another great justice.”
JCN also spent heavily during the final year of the Obama administration to oppose Chief Judge Merrick Garland, who was slated to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. Republicans ultimately blocked any hearings or votes on Garland’s nomination, paving the way for Gorsuch after Trump became president.
In addition, Koch-funded groups began galvanizing their forces. Americans for Prosperity planned to spend millions on pressuring vulnerable Democrats or Republicans who are on the fence about a potential nominee.
“Faced with a vacancy on the highest court, we encourage President Trump to build on that success by nominating a Supreme Court Justice in the spirit of Justice Neil Gorsuch — a nominee who will respect the rule of law, interpret the Constitution as written, and not seek to advance a political agenda,” Sarah Field, the vice president for judicial strategy at Americans for Prosperity told HuffPost.
A new cause can upend the way money will be allocated ahead of the midterm elections
During Gorsuch’s confirmation process, he sailed through relatively easily. Despite a narrow vote, three Democrats still voted to confirm him. Because that pressure on Democrats and certain Republicans will be that much higher, the spending will be bigger.
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Source:: Business Insider