“Supreme Court Nomination Drives Groups From Left and Right to Fight”


More than 100 protest rallies are being scheduled in key electoral states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa. Television advertisements are being scripted. Twitter and Facebook campaigns are rolling out, and email blasts are filling up inboxes.

With the nomination of Merrick B. Garland on Wednesday by President Obama to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, advocacy groups from the left and the right are now fully engaged in what both sides agree will be a highly contentious Supreme Court nomination fight — even if Mr. Garland never gets so much as a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing…

Liberal groups see their push as a win-win: If the Senate Republicans decline to hold hearings or vote on Judge Garland, they are convinced the protests they are busy organizing will help Democrats pick up at least some Senate seats….

On the right, there is a similar sense that a high-profile nomination fight will motivate their core supporters — which is why a broad range of conservative causes, from the Federalist Society, a legal group; Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group; and Gun Owners of America are prepared to invest so much effort in this debate….

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, so far at least, plan not to play an active role in the fight.

But there will still be some major industry groups involved, like the National Federation of Independent Business, which for the first time in its 73-year history has decided to mobilize, citing several continuing cases that its leaders fear could “radically expand the federal government’s control over the economy,” including a court fight over pending clean air and clean water environmental rules.

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