At least two organizations interested in judicial nominations are running television ads this election season, trying to persuade viewers to pay attention to the impact of elected officials on the courts.
The Judicial Confirmation Network, a conservative group based in Manassas, Va., has run two ads calling attention to the importance of the Supreme Court's rulings. Gary Marx, the group's executive director, tells Legal Times it has spent more than $750,000 on ads in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and on national cable. The first of the ads began running about a month ago, he says.
"Supreme Court nominations are the most significant part of any president's legacy," Marx says, "because they're lifetime appointments and they influence generations to come."
Here's the network's most recent ad:
This week, People for the American Way began running ads against five Republican senators, all of whom are up for re-election: Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Susan Collins of Maine, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, Gordon Smith of Oregon, and John Sununu of New Hampshire. The liberal group, based in Washington, D.C., wouldn't say how much it's spending.
Kathryn Kolbert, president of People for the American Way, says constituents should know the impact judges have on issues such as abortion. "Susan Collins claims she's pro-choice, but the most significant decision she made on that issue was voting for anti-choice judges," Kolbert tells Legal Times.
Here's the Collins ad:
Collins' campaign did not respond to requests for comment. The other ads can be found here.
Both the Judicial Confirmation Network and People for the American Way say they paid for the ads from 501(c)(4) accounts, so they are not required to disclose their donors. The ads are considered "issue ads" under campaign finance law.