The liberal legal group Alliance for Justice launched an ad campaign opposing Judge Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination on Friday.
The group unveiled a new ad featuring the "frozen trucker" case and claiming "Judge Neil Gorsuch sides with big business over workers." Gorsuch's decision in TransAm Trucking v. Administrative Review Board, Department of Labor attracted heated criticism from Democrats throughout this week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Gorsuch's nomination.
Alphonse Maddin, a TransAm truck driver, abandoned his truck's trailer to seek help for its failing breaks in subzero temperatures and was fired by TransAm. Gorsuch decided that the company legally was right to do so. In the Alliance for Justice ad, Maddin says Gorsuch "harbored an attitude that was inhumane."
"Neil Gorsuch has shown how oblivious he is to the realities faced by working people and families in this country," said Nan Aron, Alliance for Justice. "Mr. Maddin faced an impossible choice: lose his life or lose his job. But Gorsuch's opinion showed he didn't grasp that, in contradicting findings of the Department of Labor and every other judge who heard this case. As usual, Gorsuch's ruling reflected a bias in favor of big corporations at the expense of working Americans, and that is exactly the bias he will bring to the Supreme Court unless senators step up and reject this nomination."
During the hearings, Gorsuch frequently told Democratic senators that his adjudication of various cases led to outcomes he may not have liked.
The Alliance for Justice's campaign is rubbing up against several other campaign efforts boosting Gorsuch's high court bid. The Republican Party rolled out a six-figure ad campaign this week supporting President Trump's agenda, including the confirmation of Gorsuch.
The GOP's digital ad campaign on behalf of Gorsuch is targeting 12 Democrats, including Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Bill Nelson of Florida, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
The ads follow a similar script. "Senator Donnelly, Hoosiers elected President Trump to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court," reads text onscreen of the ad targeting Donnelly. "Our president has done his job. Senator Donnelly, it's time to put politics aside and do yours. The voters have demanded an up or down vote in the full Senate on Judge Gorsuch."
Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination hearing concluded this week. Democratic leadership in the Senate is looking to unify its ranks against the judge and began threatening a filibuster before this week's hearing ended on Thursday. Republicans, meanwhile, are targeting Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018 in states that Trump won in November.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley set an April 3 date for a committee vote on Gorsuch's nomination.