The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is spending over $1 million in television ads to proclaim the unusual step of coming out publicly against a Supreme Court nominee in the person of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The ad campaign will range across four states and urge U.S. senators there to vote against confirming Kavanaugh, who was nominated by President Trump. The ad campaign will appear Alaska, Colorado, Nebraska, and West Virginia.
Among the Republican senators to whom the ads are directed are Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, who some see as wavering on whether or not they will vote for Kavanaugh. Both voted against the Republican initiative to replace the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) and both are seen as supporters of Planned Parenthood, which receives approximately $500 million annually in federal subsidies.
The ad that addresses Republican Sen. Cory Garner of Colorado, images of former President Bill Clinton, film executive Harvey Weinstein, media personalities Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose are seen. Clinton is seen on camera in 1998 when he denied having "sexual relations" with White House aide Monica Lewinsky. Comedian Bill Cosby also appears and denies serial accusations of sexual misconduct and is followed by Judge Kavanaugh, who then also denies accusations of sexual misconduct during hearings before the Senate Judicairy Committee last week.
NEW: When we said we're going to use the full force of the ACLU to stop Brett Kavanaugh, we meant it.— ACLU (@ACLU) October 1, 2018
We're spending more than $1 million to run ads like this in Nebraska, Colorado, West Virginia, and Alaska 👇 pic.twitter.com/dWyN1XYh29
ACLU is seeking to convince moderate and conservative women to connect the above-mentioned media and political personalities and their conduct to Kavanaugh.
Other Republicans targeted by the ad campaign are Republican Sens. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. The sole Democrat to receive attention from ACLU is Sen. Joe Manchin, who is uncommitted.
The ACLU has opposed only four Supreme Court nominees in its 98-year history. The first was William Rehnquist, who was nominated by President Richard Nixon; the second was Robert Bork, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan; and the third was Samuel Alito, who was nominated by President George W. Bush. All but Judge Bork were confirmed by the Senate. Rehnquist was later confirmed when Reagan nominated him for Chief Justice.
Since the 2016 election, ACLU membership has jumped from 400,000 to 1.84 million.
The White House denounced the group for comparing Kavanaugh to the disgraced Bill Cosby. “For the ACLU which claims to care about civil liberties to condemn Brett Kavanaugh to the likes of a convicted felon without any evidence shows their true partisan stripes,” deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement.
A spokesman for the ACLU said that the group has decided to “move to opposition” and into partisan politics.