Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, having emerged largely unscathed from the clown show that took over his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month, appeared set to receive a confirmation vote from the committee on Sept. 20.
That vote, which he was expected to pass on party lines, would be followed shortly thereafter by a confirmation vote on the floor of the Senate — which Kavanugh was also expected to pass, likely with the support of a few red state Democrats — at which time he would assume his new role as a Supreme Court justice.
And then Democrat California Sen. Dianne Feinstein dropped an absolute bombshell of an anonymous allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, an allegation of an incident more than 35 years ago when Kavanaugh was in high school, and one that Feinstein had been quietly sitting on for months.
The allegations are no longer anonymous, though they still remain vague and impossible to prove or disprove, as the accuser — liberal California professor Christine Blasey Ford — came forward over the weekend to assert her claim against the nominee, and Democrats have seized on the opportunity to delay or derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the court.
But Kavanaugh is not standing alone in this disgustingly partisan, last-minute attempt to smear his reputation and destroy his credibility, as most Senate Republicans and the White House are standing up in his defense. Now, a powerful conservative activist group is joining in.
According to The Hill, the conservative group known as the Judicial Crisis Network announced that it would spend $1.5 million on an ad campaign featuring a personal friend of Kavanaugh’s for over 35 years who would testify to his character and reputation.
That $1.5 million would be in addition to the nearly $5 million that the group reportedly has already spent on ads in support of Kavanaugh’s nomination.
A spokeswoman for the group said in a statement, “We are not going to allow a last-minute smear campaign destroy a good and decent man who has an unblemished personal record.”
Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, said, “Democrats are doubling down on a strategy of character assassination, seeking to destroy the life of a distinguished public servant for the sake of appeasing their base.”
— Judicial Network (@judicialnetwork) September 17, 2018
According to Politico, the Judicial Crisis Network has already spent several millions of dollars in support of Kavanaugh’s nomination, just as the group spent several million in support of the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017.
Similarly, the group had spent several millions pressuring Senate Republicans to stand firm in opposition to the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court by former President Barack Obama in 2016 for the seat left vacant following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. (That vacancy that was ultimately filled by Gorsuch.)
But while the Judicial Crisis Network attempts to rally support for Kavanaugh against the last-minute allegations lodged against him, Politico reported that a liberal activist group is also spending money on a campaign in opposition to Kavanaugh, one that is focused on moderate Republicans who could be pressured into withdrawing their support of the nominee.
That liberal group, known as Demand Justice, is reportedly spending upwards of $700,000 on an ad campaign targeting voters in four states represented by Republican senators who could “flip” on Kavanaugh because of the allegations.
Chief among those four GOP senators are Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins, but the group is also said to be targeting Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller. All four senators are considered more moderate than conservative and at the greatest risk of buckling under pressure from Democrats and the media.
It will be interesting to see how these two polar opposite dueling ad campaigns from political activist groups will play out, just as it will be interesting to see how the Senate Judiciary Committee handles the last-minute allegations that were dropped mere days prior to Kavanaugh’s scheduled confirmation vote.