Conservative groups are finalizing their strategy for a multimillion-dollar campaign to help get President Trump's Supreme Court nominee confirmed.
The Judicial Crisis Network is spearheading the effort with plans to spend $10 million on what the groups have dubbed "the most robust operation in the history of confirmation battles."
"We are ready day one," said Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network chief counsel and policy director. "I think we need to be ready because it sounds like [Democrats] want to pull out all the stops and engage in four years of blockage. That's not the best thing for the country."
The Judicial Crisis Network's advertising campaign will specifically target Democratic senators up for re-election in the 2018 mid-terms whose seats are in predominantly red states that Trump won in 2016. Chris Jankowski, a GOP political operative assisting the Judicial Crisis Network, told the Washington Examiner that Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly are at the top of its list of targets, but that "all nine Democratic senators that are up in 2018 in states that Trump won should be on notice."
While the Judicial Crisis Network will focus its ads on defining Trump's nominee, America Rising Squared Executive Director Brian Rogers said his organization will work to combat Democrats' opposition. America Rising Squared, an offshoot of the America Rising Super PAC, will lead a research and rapid response operation within the conservative coalition to boost Trump's nominee.
"JCN will probably focus more on the positive, and we tend to traffic in the negative," Rogers said. "We're going to be focused a lot on the Democrats."
In anticipation of Democratic obstruction, America Rising Squared unveiled a digital ad showcasing Democratic senators' previous statements urging for the review of any Supreme Court nominee put forward by the president.
Tea Party Patriots, a conservative activist organization, will serve to bolster the conservative coalition's efforts with grassroots organizing. Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin told the Washington Examiner that her organization plans to visit the offices of Democratic senators from red states whose seats are up for re-election next year.
Martin said over the next 100 days, the group plans to hold 1,000 house parties across the country to engage its activists on the issue of the Supreme Court nomination.
"The house parties will be a way to have real activism be engaged in the nomination, in the confirmation process," Martin said.
Tea Party Patriots will give activists a toolkit that will instruct them how to mobilize, including writing letters-to-the-editor, being active on social media, and calling senators' offices. Martin's organization also is making plans to hold "street rallies" across the country in support of the Trump selection, but has not settled on specific dates for its demonstrations and visits to the senators' offices.
The conservative coalition's efforts likely will be welcomed by the White House and Trump's allies at the Republican National Committee. Severino said the Judicial Crisis Network has "definitely been trying to help with the vetting process" that Trump's team has undergone.
Outside of the conservative coalition's efforts, Rogers said America Rising Squared several weeks ago began regularly coordinating with the RNC, National Republican Senatorial Committee, Senate leadership including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office, allies at the Senate Judiciary Committee and the White House.
"There'll be a unified, coordinated effort, absolutely, that's the only way to have success," Rogers said. "We're in a good position, especially considering that it's the first week of an administration, I think it's a bit more of a challenge, but it's one that I think we're well on our way to addressing."
The conservative coalition will face immediate pushback from liberal groups who are planning a demonstration outside the Supreme Court Tuesday night after Trump makes his selection public. The Center for American Progress, Alliance for Justice, People for the American Way and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights have made plans to gather an hour after Trump makes his decision.
"We believe you will see a groundswell of public opposition if the person named is outside of the mainstream," said Laurie Kinney, Alliance for Justice communications director in an email about her group's plans.
The battle lines for the first big political fight of the new Trump administration have been drawn and activists on both sides of the political divide appear to be spoiling for a fight regardless of who the president chooses to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.