For more information, see Demand Justice
The Demand Justice Initiative is a left-wing judicial policy advocacy organization associated with Demand Justice. It is a former project of the New Venture Fund, a nonprofit controlled by the for-profit consulting firm Arabella Advisors, and achieved independent tax status in 2021. 1 Its “sister” group, Demand Justice, is a former project of the Arabella-controlled Sixteen Thirty Fund and is now an independent nonprofit.
Unlike Demand Justice, Demand Justice Initiative has few online references and no website. However, it has sought two full-time positions and is referenced in New Venture Fund’s 2018 Form 990. 4
Demand Justice Initiative functions as the “charitable” arm of Demand Justice, which was originally incubated as a project of the 501(c)(4) Sixteen Thirty Fund, a nonprofit funding and project-management vehicle in the Arabella network. Demand Justice aggressively campaigns in opposition to Republican judicial nominees and in favor of radical changes to the federal court system, most prominently “packing” the Supreme Court with more justices, enabling a future Democratic administration to alter the Court’s partisan-ideological alignment. 5
While Demand Justice Initiative has no known advocacy campaigns, Demand Justice ran advertisements critical of Republican Senators for their support of former President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees. Among those targeted was U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who was targeted amid debate on the nomination of now-Judge Wendy Vitter; Collins ultimately voted against the nomination. 6 7 Demand Justice has also run ads targeting potential judges that are under consideration from President Trump. In 2018, the organization targeted judge Amul Thapar, who is reportedly on President Trump’s “shortlist” as a future appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court. 8
Brian Fallon is a member of Demand Justice Initiative’s board and head of its 501(c)(4) “sister,” Demand Justice. Fallon is a former press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and a former spokesman for Attorney General Eric Holder in the Obama administration. 9 10
Christopher Kang is a Demand Justice Initiative board member and co-founder of Demand Justice, where he also serves as chief counsel. Prior to that, he oversaw vetting and selection of judicial nominees in the Obama administration, including those of Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. 11
Stasha Rhodes is a Demand Justice Initiative board member and campaign manager for 51 for 51, a campaign to grant statehood to the District of Columbia. 51 for 51 is a front for the North Fund, a nonprofit managed by Arabella Advisors. 12
Faiz Shakir is the board treasurer for Demand Justice Initiative. Shakir is former national political director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a Democratic political strategist for Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign, and an aide to Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Sen. Harry Reid (NV). 13
In 2021, Demand Justice Initiative reported total revenues of $2.9 million, total expenditures of $2 million (including grants paid totaling $250,000), and net assets of $896,000. 14
Donors to Demand Justice Initiative
Grants from Demand Justice Initiative
In 2021, Demand Justice Initiative granted $250,000 to the Fairness Project, a labor union-backed advocacy organization that finances and supports state ballot initiative campaigns in order to promote left-of-center policies such as government-mandated comprehensive paid family and medical leave, Medicaid expansion, and minimum wage increases. 16
Demand Justice Initiative’s IRS Form 990 disclosure for 2021 is available here.
- New Venture Fund Trade Names. DC Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs. Accessed Dec. 14, 2022. https://corponline.dcra.dc.gov/BizEntity.aspx/ViewEntityData?entityId=2689437
Note: Demand Justice Initiative was a trade name of New Venture Fund from May 3, 2018 to September 1, 2022.
- “Careers.” Demand Justice. Accessed June 5, 2020. Original URL: https://demandjustice.org/careers/. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/06/Demand-Justice-Initiative-Jobs.-06.05.20.pdf2 3Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). New Venture Fund. 2018. Schedule O: DBA Name. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/New-Venture-Fund-2018-Form-990.pdf
- “‘Demand Justice’ Ad Backs Packing Supreme Court.” Washington Free Beacon. June 10, 2019. Accessed June 20, 2019. https://freebeacon.com/politics/demand-justice-ad-backs-packing-supreme-court/.
- “Vote Number 114, On the Nomination (Confirmation Wendy Vitter, of Louisiana, to Be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana ).” U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 116th Congress – 1st Session, May 16, 2019. https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=116&session=1&vote=00114#state.
- Carney, Jordain. 2019. “Progressive Group Targets Susan Collins Over Trump Judicial Pick”. The Hill. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/443865-progressive-group-targets-susan-collins-over-trump-judicial-pick.
- Clark, Lesley. 2018. “Liberal Group Targets A Potential SCOTUS Pick From Kentucky”. McClatchy DC. https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article213629579.html.
- Gearan, Anne, and Philip Rucker. “Clinton Team Picks Justice Spokesman Brian Fallon as Lead Press Secretary.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 17 Mar. 2015, www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/03/17/clinton-team-picks-justice-spokesman-brian-fallon-as-lead-press-secretary/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.93b1648943ce
- Fallon, Brian. “User Profile.” LinkedIn, https://linkedin.com/in/brian-fallon-80a708a6/
- “Christopher Kang.” Demand Justice. Accessed Dec. 14, 2022. https://demandjustice.org/christopher-kang/
- Hayden Ludwig. “What’s the North Fund and How Did It Muck Up the 2020 Election?” Capital Research Center. Dec. 17, 2021. Accessed Dec. 14, 2022. https://capitalresearch.org/article/whats-the-north-fund-and-how-did-it-muck-up-the-2020-election/
- “Faiz Shakir.” American Civil Liberties Union. Accessed Dec. 14, 2022. https://www.aclu.org/bio/faiz-shakir
- Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Demand Justice Initiative. 2021. Part I: Lines 12, 13, 18, 22. https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2022/12/demand-justice-initiative-2021-form-990.pdf
- Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). New Venture Fund. 2021. Schedule I.
- “Our Work.” The Fairness Project, 2018. Accessed Dec. 14, 2020. https://www.thefairnessproject.org/work/.