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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

Updated 2 hours ago - World

500 Hong Kong police officers raid pro-democracy newspaper

Chief Operations Officer Chow Tat Kuen (front 2nd R) is escorted by police from the Apple Daily newspaper offices before being put into a waiting vehicle in Hong Kong on Thursday. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong's Apple Daily said 500 police officers searched the pro-democracy newspaper's offices and arrested five senior executives on Thursday.

Why it matters: The arrests of the paper's chief editor, Ryan Law, along with its chief operating officer, two other editors and the CEO of Next Digital, which operates Apple Daily, were made under China's national security law — which gives the government broad power to limit people's political freedom.

World Bank rejects El Salvador's request to help implement bitcoin

President Nayib Bukele, giving a speech in El Salvador's legislative assembly in San Salvado earlier this month, pushed for bitcoin to become legal tender. Photo: Emerson Flores/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images

The World Bank has rejected the government of El Salvador's request to help the country implement Bitcoin as legal tender, Reuters first reported late Wednesday.

Why it matters: The international lender's rejection could hamper the government's goal of making the digital currency accepted across the country within three months.

Updated 6 hours ago - Science

China launches first astronauts to new space station

The manned Shenzhou-12 spacecraft from China's Manned Space Agency onboard the Long March-2F rocket launches at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, on Thursday morning Beijing time. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China's Shenzhou 12 mission carrying three astronauts launched into orbit on Thursday morning Beijing time.

Why it matters: Astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo are set to occupy China's new space station. This will be the country's longest crewed space mission ever and the first in almost five years.