The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) (founded in 2005 as the Judicial Confirmation Network) is an American conservative activist political campaign organization based in the United States. As of 2014 it has been run by Carrie Severino, a former law clerk for supreme court justice Clarence Thomas. The organization describes itself as "dedicated to strengthening liberty and justice in America" and supports conservative appointments to American judicial posts.
The organization was founded in 2005 to promote the judicial appointees of then president George W. Bush. Fundraiser and lawyer Ann Corkery, along with California real estate magnate Robin Arkley II, were key to the beginning of the organization.
The current leader is Carrie Severino. She was previously a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and to Judge David B. Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She is a contributor to National Review.
Severino received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where she was a student while Elena Kagan was dean. Severino has been involved with constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act.
The leading funder of JCN is the Wellspring Committee, which is directed by Ann Corkery. Wellspring, which does not disclose who funds it, gave close to $7 million to JCN in 2014; between 2012 and 2015, it reported giving JCN more than $15 million. JCN's tax return for the period July 2015 to June 2016 shows that one $17.9 million donation, whose source was not reported, accounted for 96.6 percent of the organization's revenue.
In 2013, JCN ran ads in Alaska that were critical of U.S. senator Mark Begich's votes to approve all of president Barack Obama's federal judicial nominees. The group also ran advertisements that were critical of Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor's votes for president Obama's court picks. In 2014, the group ran digital advertisements critical of Chris Christie's judicial appointments. JCN has been active in Michigan and North Carolina supreme court elections.
In 2015, the Judicial Crisis Network donated $600,000 to Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, a group promoting reinstatement of capital punishment in Nebraska.
In 2016, the JCN ran a negative advertisement about Jane L. Kelly, a federal appeals judge from Iowa who was on a White House list of possible nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Also in 2016, the JCN bought advertisements across the country to oppose president Obama's supreme court nominee, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Merrick Garland. In November 2016, after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, JCN ran television advertisements praising senate judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley for holding the line against Garland. The group also spent over $500,000 on advertisements thanking Trump for his campaign promises regarding the types of justices he would select for the nation's high court. JCN's advertisements asked viewers to thank Trump for pledging to nominate conservative jurists in the mold of Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court.
The Judicial Crisis Network spent $4.5 million in ad buys supportive of the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.