WASHINGTON, DC — During the Supreme Court confirmation hearing, U.S. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Richard Blumenthal blasted the right-wing special interests spending millions of dollars trying to block Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination. Ahead of the hearings, government watchdog Accountable.US released a report revealing that the special interest group network led by conservative activist Leonard Leo spent $12.3 million on average to confirm each Trump Supreme Court nominee, totaling $37 million. Our research also showed that this same network of organizations also gave millions of dollars to entities pushing Trump’s “Big Lie” about the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection. Now, as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the latest Supreme Court nominee, nearly all the Senate Judiciary Committee’s conservatives have deep ties to Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society, or his wider network of right-wing groups.

The same network of rich, right-wing extremists that spent tens of millions buying Supreme Court seats for Donald Trump are back to smear history’s first Black woman to be nominated to the high court. Follow the money attacking Judge Jackson and it leads straight to groups tied to the January 6th insurrection and efforts to destroy confidence in the 2020 election. With American institutions and our democracy itself under constant attack from every direction, the importance of Judge Jackson’s swift and successful confirmation cannot be overstated.”

Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US



  • Senator Whitehouse: “We’ve Already Seen Dark Money Groups Use Dark Money To Run Ads Charging That Dark Money Swayed This Selection.” “We’ve already seen dark money groups use dark money to run ads charging that dark money swayed this selection. We are hearing that again today. Ironic, when hundreds of millions of dollars in right-wing dark money built the current court majority, and still signals its wishes through flotillas of dark money front groups posing as amicus curiae.” [Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/21/22]
  • Senator Whitehouse: Judge Jackson’s Nomination Is Based On Merit, Not “On The Recommendation Of A Secretive Right-Wing Donor Operation, Hiding Behind Anonymous Multimillion Dollar Donations, And Aimed At Capturing The United States Supreme Court As If It Were Some 19th Century Railroad Commission.” “Judge Jackson will be an exemplary Justice both because of the qualities that she possesses and because she did not undergo a secret preselection process to get here. She is before us on the basis of her own merit, not on the recommendation of a secretive right-wing donor operation, hiding behind anonymous multimillion dollar donations, and aimed at capturing the United States Supreme Court as if it were some 19th Century railroad commission.” [Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/21/22]
  • Senator Whitehouse: “The Unpleasant Fact Is That The Present Court Is The Court That Dark Money Built.” “The unpleasant fact is that the present court is the court that dark money built. Anonymous donations funded the Federalist Society while it housed the selection turnstyle run by the dark money donors. Anonymous money funded the dark money group down the same hallway as the Federalist Society that ran the dark money political campaigns for the selected justices.” [Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/21/22]
  • Senator Blumenthal: “Dark Money Special Interest Groups Have Sought To Radically Reshape The Court.” “Dark money special interest groups have sought to radically reshape the court. Their recent selection of justices was to a remarkable degree outsourced to ideological groups with the express aim of remaking the court in the image of the far right conservative movement. This court has signaled that it will continue to overthrow well-established precedents after disingenuously promising us, members of this committee, that it would respect those precedents, and instead it threatens to adopt preferred policy views.” [Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/21/22]
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