NAACP Legal Defense Fund spent quarterly record lobbying against Kavanaugh

NAACP Legal Defense Fund spent quarterly record lobbying against Kavanaugh

By Geoff West   
Hundreds of protesters have taken over the atrium of the Senate Hart Office Building on Thursday afternoon as the supplementary FBI probe into Brett Kavanaugh has been delivered and as the Senate is expected to move forward on his confirmation, (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian)
Hundreds of protesters converged on the atrium of the Senate Hart Office Building on Oct. 4 to voice their opposition to Judge Brett Kavanaugh, two days before he was confirmed as associate justice to the Supreme Court. (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian)

WASHINGTON — The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund spent nearly a quarter-million dollars lobbying against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, a quarterly record for one of the oldest and well-funded civil rights organizations.

The $242,000 spent in lobbying was the most money the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, or LDF, has spent in any quarter since at least 2008, when quarterly reports became available.

The group set its previous high in 2011, when the NAACP-offshoot organization spent about $171,000 in the second quarter advocating for criminal justice reform and early education initiatives. Last year, the group spent $313,000 on federal lobbying.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies Sept. 27 at a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill. (Jim Bourg/Reuters/pool photo)

In August, LDF published a 94-page annotated rebuke to Kavanaugh’s nomination titled, “The Civil Rights Record of Judge Brett Kavanaugh,” which detailed concerns ranging from his judicial philosophy to the legitimacy of his nomination in light of the special counsel’s probe into 2016 election meddling.

The record spending marked a busy three months of Kavanaugh lobbying on Capitol Hill. More than three dozen groups lobbied against Kavanaugh’s appointment from July 1 to Aug. 31, according to third-quarter congressional lobbying reports.

The filings showed an eclectic blend of anti-Kavanaugh fever: Groups opposing his confirmation represented retirees, public- and private-sector unions, gun-control activists, environmentalists, nurses, teachers, fair housing advocates, the LGBTQ community, human rights organizations and pro-choice stalwarts such as Planned Parenthood.

In opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation:

  • The Center for Inquiry cited his “support for religious discrimination.”
  • The League of Women Voters pushed for a “full FBI investigation” into the sexual assault allegations.
  • The NAACP, a separate legal entity from NAACP LDF, cited his rulings on “consumer protection issues.”
  • The National Employment Lawyers Association — lawyers who represent employees in workplace disputes — noted his judicial record “strongly favor(ed) the ‘rights’ of employers over the rights of working people.”
  • March for Our Lives, a group founded after the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting joined two other gun-control groups, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Giffords, in its opposition.
  • Six organizations expressed support for Kavanaugh in its third-quarter lobbying reports.

The supporters included pro-life groups (the National Right to Life Committee and Family Research Council), the National Shooting Sports Foundation and two free-market, limited-government advocacy groups, the Small Business Council and FreedomWorks.

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