After Garland Defeat, New Group Hopes to Draw Democrats to Judicial Battlefield - Only Hit Lyrics

After Garland Defeat, New Group Hopes to Draw Democrats to Judicial Battlefield


Mr. Fallon has assembled an initial staff that includes judicial experts such as Christopher Kang, a former senior congressional staff member who played a central role in the Obama administration’s vetting of judicial nominees, and Paige Herwig, a former Judiciary Committee aide to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the panel. The new organization will rely on a digital team led by Gabrielle McCaffrey, a digital organizer for the Clinton campaign. Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster, will conduct research for the group. About a dozen staff members will be housed in newly leased space near the White House.

Mr. Fallon said he was more than halfway to the initial fund-raising goal. He declined to name donors but said the organization had multiple backers and was also planning to seek smaller contributions online. He spoke recently at the Atlanta conference of the Democracy Alliance, a network of progressive donors that has included the billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer.

With Republicans controlling the White House and the Senate, Democrats are limited in their ability to block Mr. Trump’s judicial nominees since they can be confirmed solely with Republican votes under Senate policies imposed by Democrats in 2013. But Mr. Fallon said the group was quickly preparing for a Supreme Court battle should an opening occur and had already compiled background dossiers on those included on a list of potential Supreme Court nominees assembled by the Trump campaign. The group will also seek to draw attention to lower-court nominees it considers far out of the mainstream.

To start, the digital campaign will cover 14 states, including Maine and Alaska, home to potential swing-vote Republicans. The group will also focus on states represented by conservative-state Democrats including Montana, Missouri and Alabama, as well as more Democratic-leaning states such as Minnesota, Colorado and Michigan where Senate Democrats tend to back more Trump nominees than those from other blue states. Activists want lawmakers to know that support for problematic Trump nominees will be noted by the left.

“The Democratic senators have the idea that the only political cost is on the right,” said Caroline Fredrickson, the president of the liberal American Constitution Society. “I don’t think that is true at all.”

The new group also intends to become active next year in early presidential nominating states in an attempt to elevate the courts as an issue and keep pressure on Democratic candidates to commit to naming progressive judges.

Republican voters, particularly those considered evangelical Christians, have long been seen as more driven by the makeup of the Supreme Court in voting and cited it as a top issue for them in 2016.

Whether Demand Justice and the current Republican push to reconfigure the courts through lifetime appointments to a new generation of conservatives can stir Democrats to approach judicial fights with the same passion as conservatives remains to be seen. But one thing is clear — the Garland defeat showed that Democrats have a lot of ground to make up.


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