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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A leading progressive legal advocacy group is spinning off from the sprawling dark money network that seeded it, the group tells Axios.

Why it matters: Demand Justice's decision to separate from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a "fiscal sponsor" for scores of largely left-wing organizations, will provide the public with its first detailed look behind the curtain of the influential progressive nonprofit.

  • As stand-alone nonprofits, Demand Justice and its 501(c)(3) arm, the Demand Justice Initiative, will have to reveal new information about their structures and finances.

What they're saying: Demand Justice co-founder and executive director Brian Fallon told Axios his group has outgrown the umbrella organization under which it operated for its first three years.

  • "Taking this step is a nod to the fact that we plan to exist for the long term and are ready to graduate out of the start-up phase," Fallon said in an email.
  • The switch hasn't officially happened, Fallon said. His group plans to apply for tax exemption as an independent entity but is still operating as a Sixteen Thirty Fund project for the time being.

The big picture: Demand Justice is the tip of the progressive spear in battles over the makeup of the federal judiciary.

  • Fallon, formerly the top spokesman at the Department of Justice, formed the group to counter influential conservative organizations such as the Federalist Society and the Judicial Crisis Network.
  • Demand Justice has made headlines recently for running ads calling on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to resign so he can be replaced by a Black woman.

Between the lines: When Demand Justice and the Demand Justice Initiative complete their new filings, the public will be able to see previously undisclosed details about their budgets, advocacy work and the vendors they've engaged.

  • The Sixteen Thirty Fund and a sister organization, the New Venture Fund, have been criticized for obscuring information about the scores of subsidiary groups they sponsor.
  • Sixteen Thirty Fund executive director Amy Kurtz defended the structure in a Medium post last month. Her group, she wrote, "advances progressive causes through advocacy and fiscal sponsorship ... using the legal rulebook in place today."

Go deeper

Column / Harder Line

Rising gasoline prices signal trouble for climate change action

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Cutting oil production before we cut our demand for oil could undermine much of the progress that needs to be made on climate change.

Why it matters: If companies cut back on producing oil but consumers don’t cut back on consuming it, demand will exceed supply and prices will shoot up. That’s bad for our pocketbooks and risks the transition to cleaner energy.

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and has "again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

2 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.