Dark Money and the Supreme Court

This past week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing regarding the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Aside from routine questions from members regarding Judge’s Barrett’s past judicial opinions and how she’d rule in future cases, some members chose to use the confirmation process to highlight the role of dark money in the Court. One member, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, discussed, at length, the role of dark money and its influences on the court, stating, “forces outside of this room who are pulling strings and pushing sticks and causing the public — puppet theater to react.” However, this critique of dark money was only one-sided. As he continued to levy accusations and attacks on right-leaning groups, yet he willfully ignored the role of left leaning groups and the millions of dollars they have spent on influencing the courts.

As APT has previously reported on dark money groups, such as Demand Justice, significant funds are being spent to influence the confirmation process and U.S. Senate races around the country. Demand Justice is a project of Sixteen Thirty Fund, which is part of the myriad of dark money groups managed by Arabella Advisors. As of this month, Demand Justice is positioned to spend $10 million to aid Senate attempts to oppose Judge Barrett’s confirmation.

These groups will continue to exert influence on members of the Senate as well as the public throughout the confirmation process, including the vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled for Thursday, October 22nd.