A group that advocates more conservative judges on the nation’s courts has bought advertising to thank Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, for her speech and vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Sources familiar with the Judicial Crisis Network’s six-figure ad buy said it consists of a single ad that began airing last week on television in Maine as well as digitally.
“Sen. Collins thoughtfully reviewed Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record and carefully weighed the evidence,” the ad says. “Confident he’ll be an independent judge, she did the right thing, supporting him. Thanks, Susan Collins, for being a reasonable voice in Washington.”
Collins, one of the Senate’s more liberal Republicans, was among the last of the senators to announce how she intended to vote on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh, who joined the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2006.
Her vote proved crucial, as the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh’s elevation to the high court by a vote of 50-48, mostly along party lines.
The Judicial Crisis Network’s chief counsel and policy officer, Carrie Severino, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview that the ad buy was “phase one” of the organization’s “thank-you campaign” for Collins.
“We were so impressed with Collins’ deliberate process … and the courageous stance she took,” Severino said.
The ad was intended to tell both the senator and her constituents in Maine about the importance of the vote, Severino said:
Her constituents should all understand what she did and how pivotal and significant her role was. We want her to know that this is something that is recognized.
Many people told us, from outside of Maine, that they were impressed with the way she carried herself throughout the whole process.
Severino said the Judicial Crisis Network has made similar ad buys before, citing Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court last year.
“We don’t get involved in elections,” she said. “After Justice Gorsuch was confirmed, we ran several thank-you ads. This is something we’ve done regularly.”
Severino said the ad wasn’t in response to reports that Kavanaugh foes already had pledged more than $3 million for prospective challengers to Collins’ re-election in 2020 by the time the senator finished her Oct. 5 speech on the Senate floor in support of Kavanaugh.
She would not reveal to The Daily Signal any future related advertising buys.
“We aren’t tipping our hand,” Severino said.