Two conservative organizations with strong ties to the White House and Congressional GOP leaders on Wednesday announced a $21 million TV and grass-roots campaign in the anticipated battle over an expected Supreme Court vacancy later this summer. Progress for America pledged to spend at least $18 million on the expected fight to replace Chief Justice William Rehnquist, according to The Hill. The 527 organization has already spent $3.2 million on television and radio ads advocating up-or-down votes for circuit-court nominees Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown.
Another conservative group, the Judicial Confirmation Network, has budgeted $3 million on a Senate battle to fill the next court vacancy. The groups said they will aggressively counteract groups on the left that are expected to launch a coordinated effort to block President Bush's nominee, likely to be a conservative. Meanwhile, Congress is considering legislation to restrict the activities of 527s, named after a section of the tax code.