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The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) (founded in 2005 as the Judicial Confirmation Network) is an American center-right political campaign organization based in the United States. As of 2014 it has been run by Carrie Severino, a former law clerk for supreme court justice Clarence Thomas.[1] The organization describes itself as "dedicated to strengthening liberty and justice in America".[2]

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



The organization was founded in 2005 to promote the judicial appointees of then president George W. Bush.[3] Fundraiser and lawyer Ann Corkery, along with California real estate magnate Robin Arkley II, were key to the beginning of the organization.[4]

The current leader is Carrie Severino.[5][6] 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.[7] She is a contributor to National Review.[8][9]

Severino received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where she was a student while Elena Kagan was dean.[10] Severino has been involved with constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act.[11][12]


The leading funder of JCN is the Wellspring Committee, which is directed by Ann Corkery.[3] Wellspring, which does not disclose who funds it, gave close to $7 million to JCN in 2014;[13] between 2012 and 2015, it reported giving JCN more than $15 million.[14] JCN'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.[14]

Advocacy activitiesEdit

In 2013, JCN 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.[15] The group also ran advertisements that were critical of Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor's votes for president Obama's court picks.[16] In 2014, the group ran digital advertisements critical of Chris Christie's judicial appointments.[1][17] JCN has been active in Michigan and North Carolina supreme court elections.[18]

In 2015, the Judicial Crisis Network donated $600,000 to Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, a group promoting reinstatement of capital punishment in Nebraska.[19][20]

In 2016, the JCN 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.[21]

Also in 2016, the JCN 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.[3] In November 2016, after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, JCN ran television advertisements praising senate judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley for holding the line against Garland.[22] 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. JCN's advertisements asked viewers to thank Trump for pledging to nominate conservative jurists in the mold of Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court.[23][24]

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.[25]

The Judicial Crisis Network spent $4.5 million in ad buys supportive of the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.[26]


  1. ^ a b Haberman, Maggie (July 15, 2014). "Conservative judicial group to hammer Chris Christie". Politico. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  2. ^ "About the Judicial Crisis Network". Judicial Crisis Network. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  3. ^ a b c Michaelson, Jay (March 29, 2016). "Billionaires Try to Buy the Supreme Court". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Novak, Viveca; Stone, Peter (March 23, 2015). "The JCN Story: Building a Secretive GOP Judicial Machine". Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  5. ^ Bauman, Michelle (February 6, 2013). "Legal Scholar Deplores Media Confusion Over HHS Mandate". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  6. ^ Greenhouse, Linda (August 20, 2014). "By Any Means Necessary". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Carrie Severino". Judicial Crisis Network. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Carrie Severino". National Review. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  9. ^ Mears, Bill (February 12, 2014). "Analysis: Justice Thomas comments spark fresh debate on race". CNN. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  10. ^ Totenberg, Nina (May 18, 2010). "At Harvard, Kagan Won More Fans Than Foes". NPR. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  11. ^ Meinecke, Elisabeth (February 7, 2012). "ObamaCare at the Supreme Court: What to Expect". Townhall. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  12. ^ de Vogue, Ariane (April 14, 2014). "Little-Known Legal Challenge That Could Torpedo Obamacare". ABC News. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Cole, Dermot (December 21, 2013). "Begich attack ads a sign of things to come in heated Senate race". Alaska Dispatch News (online ed.). Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  16. ^ Sullivan, Sean (December 2, 2013). "Conservative group hits Landrieu with ad on judicial nominations" (online ed.). Washington Post. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  17. ^ Camia, Catalina (July 15, 2014). "Conservatives blast Chris Christie ahead of Iowa trip" (online ed.). USA Today. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  18. ^ "Judicial Crisis Network". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  21. ^ Overby, Peter (March 17, 2016). "Conservatives Lobby Around Supreme Court Nomination". National Public Radio. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  22. ^ Everett, Burgess (November 18, 2016). "Judicial Crisis Network already running ads ahead of Trump SCOTUS pick". Politico. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  23. ^ Lovelace, Ryan (November 28, 2016). "Group launches $500K ad campaign praising Trump's SCOTUS pledge". Washington Examiner (online ed.). Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  24. ^ DeBonis, Mike (November 25, 2016). "The fight to confirm Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee starts now". Washington Post (online ed.). Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  25. ^ Weber, Joseph (January 31, 2017). "Conservative group launches $10M campaign to support Trump's Supreme Court pick". Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  26. ^ Balluck, Kyle (2018-07-23). "Judicial group launches third ad buy to push Kavanaugh confirmation". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-08-02.

External linksEdit