by Jim Stirling
Research Fellow, John Locke Foundation
This week, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis made national headlines during the Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearings. Tillis asked hard-hitting questions of Jackson, bringing up her rulings on early prison releases during COVID-19 and a Massachusetts abortion clinic case creating a buffer zone between those seeking an abortion and pro-life protestors. Tillis also offered some praise to the Supreme Court Nominee saying that her ethics, honesty, and compassion that were on display during the hearing process.
The most significant part and a major reason for the North Carolina Senator’s trending on Twitter was a chart he presented of dark money groups engaged in the confirmation process. These groups, led by the liberal funding powerhouse “Arabella Advisors,” are pushing for both Jackson’s confirmation and packing the US Supreme Court.
Screenshot PBS Newshour Youtube
Tillis was responding to the claims from Senator Whitehouse that Conservative Organizations influenced the courts through the nominations of justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The display showed just how many liberal organizations have mobilized to support President Joe Biden’s nominee. The leading organization, “Demand Justice,” has been pushing to add four seats to the Supreme Court to “restore balance.” They want to move the court more in favor of Democrats by giving them a narrow majority on the US Supreme court while Democrats still control the White House and the Senate.
Democratic dark money groups have been ramping up their efforts to try and remove the filibuster and give Democrats the ability to ram their agenda through Congress. The Capital Research Center has tracked these organizations and others through their website “Influence Watch.” Marketing it as the Wikipedia page for dark money groups and political actors, they follow organizations and funding of these national organizations that are working to influence politics. Recently, Arabella Advisors has moved to set up shop here in North Carolina. The John Locke Foundation has tracked these and other developments on the state level through “Mapping the Left (MTL).” MTL helps to tie together the muddled web of interconnected progressive organizations that grows more and more each year. With North Carolina being a critical state for Democrats, organizations like Eric Holder’s Democratic National Redistricting Committee have already spent vast amounts of money to influence North Carolina politics. We will likely see more and more money from Democratic and progressive organizations as we move closer toward this year’s general election.