A new video ad is calling on Democrats in the 2020 presidential race to open up about which judges they would nominate to fill America’s federal courts.
“The radical Left smeared Judge Kavanaugh … their coordinated attacks failed,” the video ad from Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) begins, referring to the controversy that almost upended President Trump’s most recent Supreme Court appointment. “Now the same radicals want to pack the court.”
Referring to a recent story in The New York Times, the video goes on to say that now liberal groups and candidates “have built a secret list of judges that they won’t show anyone, keeping Americans in the dark.” It then goes on to ask “What are they hiding?” in reference to the “list of secret court picks.”
The ad is part of a two-week, $1.1 million JNC campaign in response to the efforts of an initiative called Building the Bench, which is a joint effort between Alliance for Justice, other liberal advocacy groups and labor unions along with a group of over 30 attorneys and law professors and lawyers as its advisory board.
“The progressive organizations and individuals have traditionally weighed in on judicial nominations and the confirmation process when Democrats were in the White House, but this represents a much more concerted effort than in the past,” the New York Times notes, but “the liberal groups do not intend to make their recommendations public.”
JCN wants the groups instead to follow the lead of candidate Donald Trump who put out a list of potential judicial picks months before he was elected in 2016.
“President Trump was open and honest with the American people and has kept his promise. He released his list of judges, but Joe Biden and other Democrats running for president have yet to reveal theirs,” said JCN policy director and chief counsel Carrie Severino. “Democratic front-runner Joe Biden and all Democratic presidential candidates should stop hiding and release their list of potential Supreme Court nominees so the American people can judge for themselves.”
In May 2016, Trump put forward an initial list of 11 names of possible Supreme Court picks. Interestingly, neither of his two Supreme Court appointees so far were on the first list. Justice Neil Gorsuch was on a second list released that September.