Non-profit

Fix the Court (FTC)

Website:

fixthecourt.com

Formation:

November 2014

Project of:

New Venture Fund

Type:

Left-Wing Judicial Reform Group

Executive Director:

Gabe Roth

Fix the Court (FTC) is a left-of-center judicial policy organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and major funding organization for left-wing organizations as well as the fiscal sponsor of a number of activist groups like FTC.[1] [2]

FTC was created in November 2014 in order to advocate for changes to the U.S. Supreme Court, such as enacting term limits for Supreme Court justices, requiring live video coverage of oral arguments, and pressuring justices to “divest [themselves] from all of their individual conflict-inducing stock holdings” during their judicial service.[3] [4] [5]

Although FTC is officially nonpartisan, FTC executive director Gabe Roth is highly critical of President Donald Trump’s nominees to the Supreme Court, Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.[6]

Following Kavanaugh’s confirmation in October 2018, it was revealed that Fix the Court had purchased two websites in 2015 bearing the Justice’s name—BrettKavanaugh.com and BrettKavanaugh.net—and populated them with links to sexual assault survivor support organizations and left-wing advocacy organizations.[7] [8] One of the groups, End Rape on Campus, lobbied the U.S. Senate to “stop the nomination process” after uncorroborated allegations of juvenile sexual misconduct emerged against now-Justice Kavanaugh.[9]

Organizational Overview

For more information, see New Venture Fund (Nonprofit)

Fix the Court is a project of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit New Venture Fund, an organization that provides major funding to a wide number of left-wing activist groups as well fiscal sponsorship to left-wing organizations which have not yet (or will never) achieve independent standing with the IRS as 501(c)(3) nonprofits. The New Venture Fund has been criticized as a “dark money organization” for serving as a way for left-wing groups to anonymously funnel money towards advocacy issues, such as attacking Republicans or pushing state-level environmental restrictions.[10]

FTC executive director Gabe Roth admitted during legal proceedings during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process that “Fix the Court is a project of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.” [11] It was also confirmed that FTC’s “[f]unding comes from the nonpartisan New Venture Fund” in a 2014 report by USA Today and during a 2016 interview with C-SPAN journalist and founder Brian Lamb:[12] [13]

Brian Lamb: “How much of your money comes from the New Venture Fund?”

Gabe Roth: “All of it. So there — it’s, you know, there, I have — very happy to have a grant from them and I’m able to, you know, spend it to come to Washington to talk to you and to meet with folks on the Hill and I speak at law schools across the country. I was actually in Iowa a few weeks ago to talk to both presidential candidates and voters about how the Supreme Court is a campaign issue or should be a campaign issue.”

Issues

FTC advocates for reforms to the U.S. Supreme Court along left-wing lines. Specifically, the group seeks to impose a term limit of 18 years upon future Supreme Court justices (a proposal it sent to ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2017, after the inauguration of Republican President Donald Trump), to allow video coverage of oral arguments in the Court, to alter the Supreme Court Code of Ethics, to require justices to establish blind trusts and “divest from all of their individual conflict-inducing stock holdings,” to require justices to “submit consistent, detailed financial disclosure reports each year and publish them online,” and to mandate recordkeeping of every time a sitting justice makes public appearances.[14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]

Opposition to Supreme Court Nominees

Brett Kavanaugh (2018)

After Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed and sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court on October 6, 2018, it was revealed that the websites BrettKavanaugh.com and BrettKavanaugh.net had been purchased in 2015 by Gabe Roth. [20] Roth, in a statement released on October 9, said that he purchased the websites because he “thought [they] might be useful in any forthcoming Supreme Court confirmation battles.” [21] Roth told the Huffington Post:[22]

“Watching last night’s White House event and listening to the president again cast doubt on the veracity of Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford’s claims, while not hearing a word of contrition from the newest justice [Brett Kavanaugh], was difficult for many Americans who have experienced sexual misconduct firsthand. Fix the Court stands with you. We believe you and we support you.”

The website provided links to various sexual assault survivors’ support groups as well as the left-wing advocacy group End Rape on Campus, a group that actively opposed the confirmation of Kavanaugh with its website, “Stop Kavanaugh.” [23]

In July 2018, FTC announced it had filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Archives and Records Administration, seeking documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush White House.[24]

The lawsuit was filed by lawyers from American Oversight, a left-of-center judicial activist group, who were listed on filings as the counsel for FTC.[25] [26] American Oversight’s board of directors includes Caroline Fredrickson, president of the American Constitution Society (a left-leaning group that has appeared co-hosted events with FTC), and Kyle Herrig, a director at the New Venture Fund.[27] The group has been described by the left-of-center website Mother Jones as a “liberal advocacy group.”[28]

Neil Gorsuch (2017)

In February 2017, FTC filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice “for access to records from Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s tenure as deputy assistant attorney general.” [29] Roth said:

“Little is known about Judge Gorsuch’s tenure at the Justice Department, but he served during a tumultuous stretch, at a time when agency attorneys were believed to be giving legal advice in support of warrantless wiretapping on American citizens and in the run-up to the infamous dismissal of U.S. attorneys for partisan reasons.”

Leadership

Executive Director

Gabe Roth is the founding executive director of Fix the Court, a position he has held since the group was created in November 2014.

Prior to FTC, Roth served as a reporter, vice president of SKDKnickerbocker (a left-leaning political consulting firm), and in various press and communications roles for the New York State Department of State.[30]

References

  1. “FOIA to DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy on Kavanaugh Memos and E-mails.” Fix the Court. July 24, 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/2018/07/foia-dojs-office-legal-policy-kavanaugh-memos-e-mails/.
  2. Wolf, Richard. “At Supreme Court, Secretiveness Attracts Snoops.” Fix the Court. November 12, 2014. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/11/12/supreme-court-powerful-accountable-fix/18872209/.
  3. “Media and Public Access.” Fix the Court. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/fix/media-and-public-access/.
  4. “Term Limits.” Fix the Court. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/fix/term-limits/.
  5. “Stocks and Recusals.” Fix the Court. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/fix/blind-trusts-and-recusals/.
  6. Mencimer, Stephanie. “Judicial Watchdogs Are in Court to Make Brett Kavanaugh’s Entire Record Public.” Mother Jones. July 18, 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/07/judicial-watchdogs-are-in-court-to-make-brett-kavanaughs-entire-record-public/.
  7. Black, Shelby. “Fix The Court Bought Brett Kavanaugh’s Name As A Website To Help Sexual Assault Survivors.” Elite Daily. October 10, 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.elitedaily.com/p/fix-the-court-bought-brett-kavanaughs-name-as-a-website-to-help-sexual-assault-survivors-12209794.
  8. “Statement on BrettKavanaugh.com.” Fix the Court. October 9, 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/2018/10/kavanaughurl/.
  9. “Stop Kavanaugh.” End Rape on Campus. Accessed October 10, 2018. http://endrapeoncampus.org/stop-kavanaugh/.
  10. Markay, Lachan. “Over 100 Left-Wing Groups Sourced to DC Dark Money Outfit.” Washington Free Beacon. October 22, 2015. Accessed February 18, 2017. http://freebeacon.com/issues/over-100-left-wing-groups-sourced-to-d-c-dark-money-outfit/
  11. “FOIA to DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy on Kavanaugh Memos and E-mails.” Fix the Court. July 24, 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/2018/07/foia-dojs-office-legal-policy-kavanaugh-memos-e-mails/.
  12. Wolf, Richard. “At Supreme Court, Secretiveness Attracts Snoops.” Fix the Court. November 12, 2014. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/11/12/supreme-court-powerful-accountable-fix/18872209/.
  13. “Q&A with Gabe Roth.” C-SPAN. March 1, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.c-span.org/video/?405764-1/qa-gabe-roth.
  14. “Letter to Congress on the Regularization of Supreme Court Appointments Act of 2017.” Fix the Court. June 29, 2017. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/2017/06/tlproposal/.
  15. “Media and Public Access.” Fix the Court. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/fix/media-and-public-access/.
  16. “Code of Ethics.” Fix the Court. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/fix/code-of-ethics/.
  17. “Stocks and Recusals.” Fix the Court. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/fix/blind-trusts-and-recusals/.
  18. “Financial Disclosures.” Fix the Court. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/fix/financial-disclosures/.
  19. “Public Appearances.” Fix the Court. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/fix/public-appearrances/.
  20. “We Believe Survivors.” BrettKavanaugh.com. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.brettkavanaugh.com/.
  21. “Statement on BrettKavanaugh.com.” Fix the Court. October 9, 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://fixthecourt.com/2018/10/kavanaughurl/.
  22. Moran, Lee. “Brett Kavanaugh Didn’t Buy His URL. It’s Now A Resource For Sexual Assault Survivors.” Huffington Post. October 10, 2018. Accessed October 11, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brett-kavanaugh-website-domain-name-sexual-assault-survivors_us_5bbda0cde4b01470d056d477.
  23. “Stop Kavanaugh.” End Rape on Campus. Accessed October 10, 2018. http://endrapeoncampus.org/stop-kavanaugh/.
  24. Bolt, Allison. “Nonpartisan Watchdog Group Sues Two Government Agencies for Brett Kavanaugh’s Records.” Paste. July 12, 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/07/nonpartisan-watchdog-group-sues-for-trump-administ.html.
  25. Fix the Court v. U.S. Department of Justice (UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA July 10, 2018).
  26. “LITIGATION UPDATE: FIX THE COURT AND AMERICAN OVERSIGHT SECURE PRODUCTION SCHEDULES FOR KAVANAUGH RECORDS.” American Oversight. July 26, 2018. Accessed October 11, 2018. https://www.americanoversight.org/watchdog-seeks-injunctions-to-force-release-of-kavanaugh-records-before-senate-vote.
  27. “Board.” American Oversight. Accessed October 11, 2018. https://www.americanoversight.org/board.
  28. Mencimer, Stephanie. “Judicial Watchdogs Are in Court to Make Brett Kavanaugh’s Entire Record Public.” Mother Jones. July 18, 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/07/judicial-watchdogs-are-in-court-to-make-brett-kavanaughs-entire-record-public/.
  29. Lovelace, Ryan. “Fix the Court sues DOJ for access to Neil Gorsuch’s records.”. Washington Examiner. February 24, 2017. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/fix-the-court-sues-doj-for-access-to-neil-gorsuchs-records.
  30. “Profile: Gabe Roth.” LinkedIn. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabe-roth-2455264/.
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