When former President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to a seat on the Supreme Court, a group called the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) spent $7 million to support McConnell in refusing to even hold hearings. Their message was, "let the people decide."
“Let the people decide” is the refrain of Republicans opposed to holding hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland, but they’re being bankrolled by an anonymous collection of billionaires—1 percenters so cowardly that they’re hiding behind tax laws to avoid revealing their identities.
As Politico reported, the article the Judicial Crisis Network ad cites to support its claim that Gupta favors defunding police “does not actually say that she favors defunding the police.” The claim that Gupta wants to “reduce sentences for white supremacists” comes as a voiceover atop an image of Dylann Roof ― the white supremacist killer whose prosecution Gupta oversaw while at the Justice Department. (The ad cites a letter ― sent by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to Biden more than a month after Gupta took leave from the organization because of her nomination ― that calls for Biden to commute all federal death sentences. Such a commutation would “reduce” Roof’s penalty insomuch as it would condemn him to a natural death behind bars rather than death by lethal injection.) And her statement last summer that “COVID-19 is killing people in federal prison who could be released” is one that even former Attorney General William Barr would agree with.
But here's the real kicker. Severino and JCN are working with Heritage Action and Americans for Public Trust (all three dark money groups) to claim that Biden's nominees are payback to dark money groups for helping him get elected.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society – an America as good as its ideals.
The Leadership Conference is a 501(c)(4) organization that engages in legislative advocacy. It was founded in 1950 and has coordinated national lobbying efforts on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.
In December, the Judicial Education Project formally changed its legal name to The 85 Fund, a group Leo backed to funnel “tens of millions” of dollars into conservative causes, according to Axios. The Honest Elections Project is merely a fictitious name — an alias — the fund legally adopted in February. The change was nearly indiscernible because The 85 Fund registered two other legal aliases on the same day, including the Judicial Education Project, its old name. The legal maneuver allows it to operate under four different names with little public disclosure that it is the same group...
There is a lot of overlap between the Honest Elections Project and the Judicial Crisis Network. Both groups share personnel, including Carrie Severino, the influential president of the Judicial Crisis Network...The Judicial Crisis Network also rebranded in recent months, changing its name in December 2019 to The Concord Fund. The Fund then registered Judicial Crisis Network, its old name, as an alias.
The Honest Elections Project, which has been spreading lies about voter fraud in order to make the case for voter suppression, is also the Judicial Education Project and The 85 Fund. Whatever name they use, that organization is connected via Severino to the Judicial Crisis Network, or the Concord Fund.
With that information, we can finally connect the dots between the Judicial Crisis Network and Vanita Gupta. During her time as CEO of the Leadership Conference, Gupta prioritized lobbying for H.R. 1—otherwise know as the For the People Act—which would expand voting rights, election security, and campaign finance reform. That is precisely why she is being demonized by these right-wing groups. If confirmed, she is likely to go head-to-head with them on the issue of voting rights.Karl Rove might actually be envious of the ability of Leo and Severino to "launch attacks that are ironic, wrong, hypocritical, and examples of projection, all at the same time."