Jul 22, 2018

Inside the Kavanaugh campaign

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh speaks while US President Donald Trump listens. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, the right's deepest-pocketed judicial group will launch the latest phase of its campaign to pressure key Democratic senators to confirm Trump's nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, to the Supreme Court.

The Judicial Crisis Network will run a new round of ads targeting red-state Democrats in West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, and Alabama. The ad buy, worth $1.5 million, takes JCN spending to $5.3 million since Justice Anthony Kennedy retired from the court.

Why this matters: JCN was the most powerful outside group that helped confirmed Trump's first justice, Neil Gorsuch. The group, which can legally protect its donors' anonymity, spent millions flooding the airwaves on Gorsuch's behalf.

  • As we've reported, progressives appear to be better organized this time around, and JCN is now contending with a well-coordinated array of groups on the left that are mobilizing against Kavanaugh.

First look... The JCN ads accuse red state Democratic senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana of being beholden to "liberal Chuck Schumer" and Elizabeth Warren.

  • The group will also release polling by Whit Ayres' North Star Opinion Research, showing that majorities of voters in all four targeted states say that the U.S. Senate should confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (No surprise here, given Trump won these states handily in 2016.)

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Minnesota activates National Guard amid fallout from George Floyd death

A portrait of George Floyd hangs on a street light pole in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

George Floyd, 46, moved to Minnesota to improve his life and become his "best self," but instead, he is dead because of Minneapolis police.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the state's National Guard in response to violent clashes over the past two days between police and protesters in the Twin Cities.

Trump signs executive order targeting protections for social media platforms

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday designed to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content users post on their platforms.

What they're saying: "Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not," Trump said in the Oval Office. "We are fed up with it. It is unfair, and it's been very unfair."