WASHINGTON – Liberal groups that oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation to the Supreme Court are telling Democratic senators to oppose him or face the consequences.
The groups on Thursday formed "The People's Defense," billed as a massive grassroots campaign to defeat Gorsuch's nomination in the Republican-controlled Senate.
The leaders of the efforts said in a telephone news conference that they expect Democrats to try to delay, or filibuster, Gorsuch's nomination, even if doing so provokes Republicans to try to eliminate the filibuster for high court nominations.
"Any Democrat who votes to advance Judge Gorsuch's nomination will have a permanent stain on their record," said Murshed Zaheed, political director of CREDO Action, which bills itself as a network of progressive activists.
Anna Galland of the activist group MoveOn.org said Democrats "need to catch up with the intensity we are seeing at the grass roots." Gorsuch's Senate hearings are set for the week of March 20.
But while pro-Gorsuch groups are buying $4 million in advertising, the anti-Gorsuch effort is not planning any paid advertising, said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. The ads supporting Gorsuch are mainly targeting Democratic senators who face re-election next year in states that Trump won in November.
"I'd actually argue that they have money because they don't have people, tens of millions of people, which is something money can't buy," Hogue said.
People for the American Way, a liberal group taking part in the new campaign, aired an anti-Gorsuch ad in 14 states, but would not reveal how much it spent.