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TV Data Shows Liberal Coalition Taking on Alito More Aggressively in Recent Weeks

For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 8, 2005

Contact Information:
Natalia Kennedy, 212 998–6736
Jesse Rutledge, Justice at Stake, 202 588–9454

TV Data Shows Liberal Coalition Taking on Alito
More Aggressively in Recent Weeks

IndependentCourt.org outspends conservative rival since Thanksgiving

NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON, DC For the first time in the five months since the announcement of a nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, liberal interest groups are now airing television advertising at a pace that outstrips their conservative counterparts.  The data comes from new statistics released by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law and the Justice at Stake Campaign.

Between November 21 and December 4, a group called IndependentCourt.org whose website catalogues a whos-who of liberal advocacy group members has spent $131,594 airing a TV ad that is sharply critical of Judge Samuel Alito.  That is nearly double the $74,400 spent over the same period by the only group to air advertising backing Judge Alito, Progress for America.

In the last two weeks, the opposition to Judge Alito has become more pitched, said Jeremy Creelan, deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.  As the confirmation hearings approach, we expect more Americans will be bombarded with television advertising from both sides of this debate.

The ad from IndependentCourt.org says: the Right Wing has taken already taken over the West Wing dont let them take over your Supreme Court.  It doesnt seek to characterize Judge Alito, though it criticizes his rulings on discrimination and strip-searches, along with a statement Alito made as a lawyer criticizing Roe v. Wade.

This could mark a turning point in the national debate over Judge Alito, said Bert Brandenburg, executive director of the Justice at Stake Campaign.  After lagging behind their foes all summer and fall, liberals are turning up the heat and conservatives are unlikely to cede them the field as the confirmation hearings approach.

The data for the project is gathered by TNS-Media Intelligence/CMAG, which tracks the nations top 100 broadcast markets and national cable advertising and provides estimates on the cost of each TV spot.  Data and previous releases, as well as storyboards and streaming video of ads available to date, are available at brennancenter.org and justiceatstake.org.