Concord Fund

(Redirected from Judicial Crisis Network)

The Concord Fund (formally known as the Judicial Crisis Network and, before that, as the Judicial Confirmation Network) is an American conservative advocacy organization. Its president is Carrie Severino, a former law clerk for Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas.[1] In 2020, OpenSecrets described the organization as having "unmatched influence in recent years in shaping the federal judiciary."[2] It is among a network of organizations associated with Leonard Leo, a longtime executive in the Federalist Society, that are funded mostly by anonymous donors and distributed by Concord and a related group, The 85 Fund.[3][4]

Judicial Crisis Network
Formation2005 (2005)
LeaderCarrie Severino Edit this at Wikidata
Formerly called
Judicial Crisis Network; Judicial Confirmation Network


The organization was founded in 2005 to promote the judicial appointees of then president George W. Bush.[5] Fundraiser and lawyer Ann Corkery, along with California real estate magnate Robin Arkley II, were key to the beginning of the organization.[6]

The current leader is Carrie Severino.[7][8] She was previously a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and to Judge David B. Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[9] She is a contributor to National Review.[10][11] She is married to Roger Severino.

Severino received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where she was a student while Elena Kagan was dean.[12] Severino has been involved with constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act.[13][14]


The leading funder of Concord is the Wellspring Committee, which is directed by Ann Corkery.[5] Wellspring was part of the Koch political financing network leading up to the 2008 elections, then was later used by Leonard Leo's associates to direct money to Concord's predecessor organizations.[15] Wellspring, which does not disclose who funds it, gave close to $7 million to Concord in 2014;[16] between 2012 and 2015, it reported giving Concord more than $15 million.[17] Concord's tax return for the period July 2015 to June 2016 shows that one $17.9 million donation, whose source was not reported, accounted for 96.6 percent of the organization's revenue.[17]

Advocacy activitiesEdit

In 2013, Concord ran ads in Alaska that were critical of U.S. senator Mark Begich's votes to approve all of president Barack Obama's federal judicial nominees.[18] The group also ran advertisements that were critical of Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor's votes for president Obama's court picks.[19] In 2014, the group ran digital advertisements critical of Chris Christie's judicial appointments.[1][20] Concord has been active in Michigan and North Carolina supreme court elections.[21]

In 2015, the Judicial Crisis Network donated $600,000 to Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, a group promoting reinstatement of capital punishment in Nebraska.[22][23]

In 2016, Concord ran a negative advertisement about Jane L. Kelly, a federal appeals judge from Iowa who was on a White House list of possible nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.[24]

Also in 2016, Concord bought advertisements across the country to oppose president Obama's supreme court nominee, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Merrick Garland.[5] In November 2016, after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, Concord ran television advertisements praising senate judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley for holding the line against Garland.[25] The group also spent over $500,000 on advertisements thanking Trump for his campaign promises regarding the types of justices he would select for the nation's high court. Concord's advertisements asked viewers to thank Trump for pledging to nominate conservative jurists in the mold of Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court.[26][27]

On January 31, 2017, the Judicial Crisis Network committed to spending $10 million on advocacy ads in favor of president Donald Trump's first Supreme Court of the United States nominee, Neil Gorsuch.[28]

The Judicial Crisis Network spent $4.5 million in ad buys supportive of the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.[29] In 2019, the watchdog group Campaign for Accountability accused Concord of sending illegal robotexts to Indiana residents about the Supreme Court nomination of Kavanaugh.[30]

In September 2020, after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Concord launched a $2.2 million campaign to support President Trump's right to appoint a judge prior to the November 2020 presidential election.[31][32][33]

The 85 Fund, formerly known as the Judicial Education Project, is closely aligned with the Concord.[2]


  1. ^ a b Haberman, Maggie (July 15, 2014). "Conservative judicial group to hammer Chris Christie". Politico. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Massoglia, Anna; Levine, Sam (May 27, 2020). "Conservative 'dark money' network rebranded to push voting restrictions before 2020 election". OpenSecrets.
  3. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (October 12, 2022). "Leonard Leo's Network Is Increasingly Powerful. But It Is Not Easy to Define". The New York TImes.
  4. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (October 12, 2022). "Leonard Leo Pushed the Courts Right. Now He's Aiming at American Society". The New York TImes.
  5. ^ a b c Michaelson, Jay (March 29, 2016). "Billionaires Try to Buy the Supreme Court". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  6. ^ Novak, Viveca; Stone, Peter (March 23, 2015). "The JCN Story: Building a Secretive GOP Judicial Machine". OpenSecrets. OpenSecrets. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  7. ^ Bauman, Michelle (February 6, 2013). "Legal Scholar Deplores Media Confusion Over HHS Mandate". National Catholic Register. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  8. ^ Greenhouse, Linda (August 20, 2014). "By Any Means Necessary". The New York Times. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  9. ^ "Carrie Severino". Judicial Crisis Network. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  10. ^ "Carrie Severino". National Review. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  11. ^ Mears, Bill (February 12, 2014). "Analysis: Justice Thomas comments spark fresh debate on race". CNN. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  12. ^ Totenberg, Nina (May 18, 2010). "At Harvard, Kagan Won More Fans Than Foes". NPR. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  13. ^ Meinecke, Elisabeth (February 7, 2012). "ObamaCare at the Supreme Court: What to Expect". Townhall. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  14. ^ de Vogue, Ariane (April 14, 2014). "Little-Known Legal Challenge That Could Torpedo Obamacare". ABC News. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  15. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (October 12, 2022). "Leonard Leo's Network Is Increasingly Powerful. But It Is Not Easy to Define". The New York TImes.
  16. ^ Mencimer, Stephanie (March 19, 2016). "These Right-Wing Groups Are Gearing Up for an Onslaught on Obama's Supreme Court Nominee". Mother Jones. Foundation for National Progress. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Sessa-Hawkins, Margaret; Perez, Andrew (October 24, 2017). "Dark Money Group Received Massive Donation In Fight Against Obama's Supreme Court Nominee". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  18. ^ Cole, Dermot (December 21, 2013). "Begich attack ads a sign of things to come in heated Senate race". Alaska Dispatch News (online ed.). Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  19. ^ Sullivan, Sean (December 2, 2013). "Conservative group hits Landrieu with ad on judicial nominations". Washington Post (online ed.). Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  20. ^ Camia, Catalina (July 15, 2014). "Conservatives blast Chris Christie ahead of Iowa trip" (online ed.). USA Today. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  21. ^ "Judicial Crisis Network". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  22. ^ Schulte, Grant. "Nebraska group touts support to stop death penalty repeal". The Big Story. Associated Press. Archived from the original on August 28, 2015. The largest donation in July came from the conservative, Washington-based Judicial Crisis Network, which gave $200,000. Nebraskans for the Death Penalty relied on a combination of paid and volunteer petition circulators, and was aided by an Arizona-based strategist who specializes in ballot campaigns.
  23. ^ "Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission". Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  24. ^ Overby, Peter (March 17, 2016). "Conservatives Lobby Around Supreme Court Nomination". National Public Radio. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  25. ^ Everett, Burgess (November 18, 2016). "Judicial Crisis Network already running ads ahead of Trump SCOTUS pick". Politico. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  26. ^ Lovelace, Ryan (November 28, 2016). "Group launches $500K ad campaign praising Trump's SCOTUS pledge". Washington Examiner (online ed.). Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  27. ^ DeBonis, Mike (November 25, 2016). "The fight to confirm Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee starts now". Washington Post (online ed.). Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  28. ^ Weber, Joseph (January 31, 2017). "Conservative group launches $10M campaign to support Trump's Supreme Court pick". Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  29. ^ Balluck, Kyle (July 23, 2018). "Judicial group launches third ad buy to push Kavanaugh confirmation". TheHill. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  30. ^ Bowden, John (October 8, 2019). "Watchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018". TheHill.
  31. ^ "Judicial Crisis Network will spend $2.2 million to boost Trump's court pick". Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  32. ^ Mineiro, Megan (September 22, 2020). "Democrats Condemn Big-Money Campaigns Backing Judicial Nominations". Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  33. ^ "Judicial Crisis Network launches $2.2M ad buy backing Trump Supreme Court pick". Washington Examiner. September 21, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2020.

External linksEdit