Judicial Crisis Network

The Judicial Crisis Network is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit founded in 2005. Then called the Judicial Confirmation Network, its mission is to support conservative judicial nominees and oppose progressive nominees. The Center for Responsive Politics has called the group “a dark money juggernaut” and “a pipeline for secret money.”[1]

The JCN receives a significant portion of its funding from another dark money nonprofit, the Wellspring Committee.[2] Per Viveca Novak and Peter Stone of the Center for Responsive Politics, the Wellspring Committee “was founded… with the help of conservative donors in the network led by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.”[3]

The group has poured millions of dollars into its attempts to swing statewide and local-level judicial elections, as well as in elections for state attorneys general.[4] It has also funded other conservative dark money groups such as the American Future Fund and the Wisconsin Club for Growth.[5] In February 2016, the JCN announced that it would run “a million-dollar ad campaign” to support Republican Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John McCain (R-AZ), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for their refusal to consider any Supreme Court nominee selected by President Obama.[6] Each of those Senators is up for re-election in November 2016.

[1]The JCN story: Building a secretive GOP judicial machine.’’ Viveca Novak and Peter Stone, The Center for Responsive Politics, 03/23/15

[2]The JCN story: Building a secretive GOP judicial machine.’’ Viveca Novak and Peter Stone, The Center for Responsive Politics, 03/23/15

[3]The JCN story: Building a secretive GOP judicial machine.’’ Viveca Novak and Peter Stone, The Center for Responsive Politics, 03/23/15

[4]The JCN story: Building a secretive GOP judicial machine.’’ Viveca Novak and Peter Stone, The Center for Responsive Politics, 03/23/15

[5]The JCN story: Building a secretive GOP judicial machine.’’ Viveca Novak and Peter Stone, The Center for Responsive Politics, 03/23/15

[6]Conservative group plans ads to back McConnell on SCOTUS.” Burgess Everett, Politico, 02/18/16