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Progressives Plan to Spend Big for Ketanji Brown Jackson Nomination

Progressives Plan to Spend Big for Ketanji Brown Jackson Nomination

Progressives are preparing a seven-figure budget to attract top Democratic talent to the process to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, according to a new report from Axios.

If confirmed by the Senate, she will be the sole sitting justice to have served as a public defender and the first since Justice Thurgood Marshall to have represented criminal defendants. While Jackson’s supporters view that experience as a positive, Republicans on the Judiciary Committee are likely to focus on clients she represented while working for two years in the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Washington. Judge Jackson is still likely to fly through the hearings scheduled for later this month (despite the antics of Tucker Carlson) thanks to public bipartisan support, but as Axios reports, there are still plenty of political advantages to gain this midterm year for both sides of the aisle.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Demand Justice is one group ready to lead the fight for progressives on the left. The judicial advocacy organization has already announced a $1 million ad campaign in support of Judge Jackson and said it’s prepared to spend much more.

Axios was able to obtain IRS filings for Demand Justice, which revealed the powerful names behind it. Arkadi Gerney, the co-founder of The Hub Project, a progressive strategy nonprofit; Lori Lodes, the executive director of the environmental advocacy group Climate Power; Adam Jentleson, formerly a senior aide to the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; and Elie Mystal, an attorney and justice correspondent for The Nation. The board of their affiliated charity, the Demand Justice Initiative, includes political heavy hitters such as former Bernie Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir; former NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue; and Stasha Rhodes, a former managing director at The Hub Project.

While Jackson does not need backing from Republicans to be confirmed to the nation’s highest court if all Democrats support her — Democrats hold 50 seats in the Senate and Vice President Kamala Harris breaks tie votes — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin has said he wants the confirmation vote to be bipartisan. Judge Jackson has also received support from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, while Sen. Tim Scott expressed disappointment that President Biden bypassed his choice, J. Michelle Childs. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has said they are open to voting to confirm Jackson, but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been recently critical of her.

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