Demand Justice is a dark-money group with links to the 1630 Fund, a member of the left-leaning dark-money network that Arabella Advisors runs. It is believed that the 1630 Fund spent nearly $60 million to promote President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign. In addition, the larger Arabella network spent more than $1.2 billion on the campaign in support of Biden’s 2020 election.
Demand Justice's donors as well as those of the 1630 Fund are not known to the general public, so the group is considered a “dark” one. The executive director of Americans for Public Trust, Caitlin Sutherland, stated to Fox News, “Because Demand Justice is [the] trade name of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, we can't see on their tax returns how much of the overall budget is being spent on Demand Justice.”
Some notable Demand Justice alumni in Biden's White House include Paige Herwig, one of the group's initial hires who became its deputy chief counsel, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who served as an expert in communications for the organization.
Following the announcement that Biden picked Herwig to serve as his senior counsel, Demand Justice claimed, “No one is better positioned to carry forward President-elect Biden's commitment to rebalancing our judicial system.”
Chief counsel for Demand Justice, Christopher Kang, praised Biden's “phenomenal start when it comes to judicial nominations.”
Herwig concentrates on Biden's judicial appointments as senior counsel within the White House counsel's office. She has been researching Biden's judicial nominations “out of the gate,” after having learned her lessons while working with former President Barack Obama’s administration.
Herwig spoke to Courthouse News, “A lot of people learned the lesson that if you don't think about judges out of the gate, there's so much else going on at the beginning of an administration, it can be very easy to have things slip through the cracks.”
Herwig controls President Joe Biden’s information flows about nominations for the judiciary, according to some. Her previous employer, Demand Justice, played an important role in drawing Biden's attention to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Jackson was included on Demand Justice's Supreme Court shortlist of judges who demonstrate “the breadth of progressive talent available to a president committed to nominating a diverse group of justices.”
Demand Justice was also influential in securing Jackson's nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, considered a stepping stone for possible Supreme Court nominees. Demand Justice launched a six-figure advertisement program “targeting to black audiences” to support her nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
After the U.S. Senate confirmed Jackson to the D.C. Circuit, Demand Justice led the campaign that “shamed” Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer into retirement. After Breyer advised Democrats against overcrowding the Supreme Court, Demand Justice demanded Breyer step down.
“We can't afford to risk Democrats losing control of the Senate before President Biden can follow through on his promise to nominate the first Black woman Supreme Court justice,” tweeted Demand Justice. “It's time for Justice Breyer to announce his retirement.”
The moment Justice Breyer finally announced his retirement in January, Demand Justice was so sure Jackson was Biden's choice that the dark-money organization created ads in support of Jackson prior to Biden announcing her candidacy. “Demand Justice has already produced ads to support Jackson in case she's chosen, a source familiar with the matter said,” NBC reported.
Demand Justice sent a letter to Biden on behalf of 12 groups, urging Biden to choose someone who has a background as a public defender similar to Jackson’s. Since Biden officially announced his nomination of Jackson, Demand Justice declared an initial ad campaign worth $1 million. But the campaign will not end with the initial million. Demand Justice is ready to invest in unlimited amounts of funds to help Jackson's nomination for the Supreme Court. Demand Justice’s executive director, Brian Fallon, who was a key figure on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, told CNBC that the group is prepared to “spend whatever is needed to ensure” Jackson's confirmation.
It’s no surprise that Herwig has been playing a “prominent” role during Jackson's confirmation process. The Wall Street Journal reported that Herwig as well as the White House counsel, Dana Remus, have been holding practice sessions for Jackson in preparation for her to testify at her confirmation hearings.