Special Report

Leftists Astroturfing the Supreme Court


Many on the Left want Americans to think their protest at the Supreme Court on July 9 was spontaneous. The facts show otherwise.

As President Donald Trump announced his nomination of federal appellate judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, left-wing protesters jeered the President outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Protesters chanted “hey hey, ho ho, Kavanaugh has got to go,” and held up makeshift signs reading “#SaveSCOTUS” and “Protect Roe [v. Wade].” CRC identified many of the same speakers from the usual lineup of left-wing organizations (see our original list here).

For a supposedly “spontaneous” protest, though, the activists came prepared. Attendees spotted unused signs reading “Stop Barrett,” “Stop Kethledge,” and “Stop Hardiman”—glossy, pre-printed propaganda created in the event President Trump had nominated judges Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge, or Thomas Hardiman from his shortlist of Supreme Court nominees.

“Stop Barrett,” “Stop Kethledge,” “Stop Hardiman,” “Stop Kavinaugh”
Image credit: goo.gl/DaPaJs

Still others pointed to tweets by groups on the professional Left like the Center for American Progress Action Fund (one of the protest organizers), which denounced the candidate as “extremist” at 5:36 PM, a full three-and-a-half hours before the candidate was announced.

Center for American Progress Tweet.
Image URL: https://twitter.com/CAPAction/status/1016300149583368198

To be sure, this latest Astroturf effort to stop the confirmation of a conservative nominee was better prepared than their laughable attempt last year to stop Neil Gorsuch—where protesters held up signs that effectively read, “OPPOSE [FILL IN THE BLANK HERE].”

“Stop Gorsuch.” Image credit: Wiki Commons

Demand Justice, one of the leaders in the effort to sabotage Kavanaugh’s confirmation, even released a short video at 9:27 PM—less than half an hour after his 9:00 PM announcement—attacking the judge for wanting to “outlaw abortion” and overturn Obamacare, calling viewers to urge their senators not to confirm him. (It’s also worth noting that the video’s language is vague enough to have been used to attack any eventual nominee, regardless of whom Trump picked.) The Center for American Progress released a similar video at 10:21, less than an hour after that.

And as if that weren’t enough to put the “grassroots” image to bed, websites operated by Demand Justice and the advocacy group Indivisible, respectively, went live shortly after the President’s announcement. Curiously, those websites were created on June 28—the day after Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. And that’s not all—a search of the website “stopbarrett.com” reveals the same creation timestamp (2018-06-28 at 16:55:13) as stopkavanaugh.com.

Also worth noting is that the stopkavanaugh.com website was designed by Wide Eye Creative, a for-profit digital design studio with a roster of clients that includes Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the liberal funding platform ActBlue, AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers, and a number of other well-funded leftist organizations and Democratic Party politicians.

If this is a grassroots protest, it sure smells like professional left-wing activism.

Here’s a list of organizations and speakers at the July 9 Supreme Court protest:

Tina Smith Senator (D-Minnesota)
Bernie Sanders Senator (D-Vermont)
Elizabeth Warren Senator (D-Massachusetts)
Corey Booker Senator (D-New Jersey)
Richard Blumenthal Senator (D-Connecticut)
Ilyse Hogue President, NARAL Pro-Choice America
Chad Griffin President, Human Rights Campaign
Nan Aron President, Alliance for Justice
Brad Woodhouse Executive Director, Protect Our Care
Valarie Long Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union
Fatima Goss Graves President, National Women’s Law Center
Mara Keisling Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
Victoria Kirby York Deputy Director, National LGBTQ Task Force
Debra Ness President, National Partnership for Women and Families
Sharon McGowan Legal Director, Lambda Legal
Jody Rabhan Washington Director, National Council of Jewish Women
Elizabeth Wydra President, Constitutional Accountability Center
Hilary Shelton Washington Bureau Director, NAACP
Ashley Allison Executive Vice President, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Tiffany Muller President, End Citizens United
Stasha Rhodes Giffords PAC
Christin Battle Director, Young People For (People for the American Way)
Rachel Laser President, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Anisha Singh Senior Organizing Director, Generation Progress/Center for American Progress
Tiernan Sittenfeld Vice President, League of Conservation Voters

Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is a Research Analyst at Capital Research Center. He is a native of Orange County, California, and a graduate of Sonoma State University.
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