With Obama expected to nominate a federal judge to the Supreme Court this week, a coalition of conservative groups is digging through the backgrounds of potential candidates and developing a strategy to portray the nominee as a liberal who would upset the balance of the court.
Groups on the right started an ad campaign soon after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13, targeting states with key Senate races with the message to “let the people decide” — that voters should choose the direction of the high court by electing the next president to fill the vacancy.
Conservative operatives say the battle will only intensify after Mr. Obama announces a nominee, and they expect to wage their multimillion-dollar effort through the November election.
“This is going to be a substantial fight,” said Carrie Severino, head of the Judicial Crisis Network and a former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas. “We have a lot of resources we need to do this job.”