A group calling itself the Judicial Crisis Network is running ads targeting Democratic Senators – among them North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp – on the battle over Antonin Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court.
Senator Heitkamp hasn’t come out in support of Obama’s nominee – Merrick Garland – but she has been critical of Republicans for saying they want to postpone the process until after the election.
The ad points out, rightly I think, that another Obama-appointee on the Supreme Court would be very, very bad for North Dakota’s interests. Particularly agriculture and energy interests.
The ad also focuses on social issues, though I’m not sure how much traction that will get.
Here’s a Politico report on the campaign:
The attack ads are intended to hurt Manchin and Heitkmap in their conservative home states. The ad against North Dakota’s Heitkamp, for example, says that the Supreme Court’s make-up “will preserve or end” the state’s way of life on issues like energy production and “religious freedom.”
This is risky political ground for Heitkamp. If she’s perceived as helping Obama swing the court her already tough outlook for re-election in 2018 may well become impossible.