New SCOTUS Nomination Spending Hub: Kavanaugh Fight Hits $1 Million

July 26, 2018

Today, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law launched a new hub tracking television ad spending around the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. The hub will update spending estimates each week, identify groups responsible for the ad buys, show which markets are seeing the biggest investments, and even host the television ads themselves for viewing.

As of today, groups supporting or opposing Kavanaugh have already spent more than $1.1 million on television advertisements. Far and away the biggest spender is the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) with nearly $750,000. JCN is a conservative group that supports Kavanaugh’s nomination and has spent tens of millions around judicial elections and nominations.

“Americans should care deeply about who sits on the Supreme Court. But we also need to worry about a nomination process that’s increasingly taking on many of the worst excesses of electoral politics – including massive spending by dark money groups,” said Alicia Bannon, Brennan Center deputy director for program management. “This reflects a long-term effort to reshape the judiciary: The same group that spent nearly a million dollars in an Arkansas Supreme Court race this year, for example, is leading spending in the Kavanaugh nomination fight. We fear the vital, independent role of the courts as neutral arbiters of the law and a check on the other branches of government may be at risk.”

While nearly $400,000 so far has gone to national ad buys, the rest of the spending has targeted states with senators who are key in the nomination fight, some of whom are up for re-election in 2018. These include Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota, and West Virginia.

All data and ads are provided to the Center by Kantar Media/CMAG.

View our nomination spending hub, Follow the Money: Tracking TV Spending on the Kavanaugh Nomination.

Read more about the Brennan Center’s work on Fair Courts.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Naren Daniel at (646) 292-8381 or naren.daniel@nyu.edu.

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