Dark Money Leftist Group Runs Facebook Ads Targeting Kavanaugh

Ads say Supreme Court is 'illegitimate' with Kavanaugh on the bench

Brett Kavanaugh / Getty Images

A dark money progressive organization hoping for a leftward turn on the courts is targeting Justice Brett Kavanaugh with advertisements, suggesting the Court is illegitimate following his elevation last October.

"Brett Kavanaugh's performance during his testimony in front of the Senate was a disgrace. His blatant partisan attacks and hostile behavior towards senators calls into question his ability to serve as a fair and impartial judge. His conduct undermines the legitimacy of his decisions and the entire Supreme Court," the ad reads.

"We're calling on Congress to open an investigation into Kavanaugh right now."

Other ads by the group Demand Justice alleged there was "overwhelming evidence that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh committed perjury during his confirmation hearings before the Senate" and also urged George Mason University to "fire" Kavanaugh from teaching a summer course at the Virginia school.

Unlike most other political players in this arena, Demand Justice is neither a political action committee nor a nonprofit.

"Instead, Demand Justice operates as an unincorporated entity organized by a tax-exempt fiscal sponsor," said a recent report from the Center for Responsive Politics.

"That sponsor is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit named Sixteen Thirty Fund, which provides a legal home and steers money from secret donors to more than 40 different unincorporated entities that are consequently not required to file separate tax returns or other incorporation documents."

Another recent report, this one by the Capital Resource Center, estimated that the Sixteen Thirty Fund had shepherded about $1.6 billion from donors to the various organizations under its umbrella.

Many of the ads have been targeted in states with early caucus or primary votes in the 2020 presidential race.

For example, one ad from Demand Justice that dredged up the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh during his contentious senate confirmation was targeted to run exclusively in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, all of which are early on the 2020 presidential voting calendar.

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, which, according to its website, advocates for the rule of law consistent with the "Constitution and the Founders' vision of a nation of limited government."

She says Democrats and others on the left failed at phase one and two of their campaign, to delay and then defeat Kavanaugh's nomination, and have moved on to phase three: discredit.

"Knowing that they failed even with historic levels of dirty politics, smear campaigns to get him off the court, they're hoping they can discredit him at every future decision that he makes," Severino told the Washington Free Beacon.

"It's the last refuge of scoundrels," she added later. "If you can't actually win on the merits of your arguments, you can't say ‘well, he's wrong on the law,' and then explain your constitutional or legal reasoning, then you just go for ad hominem attacks. This is a variation of that theme."

Requests for comment to Demand Justice were not returned.