The American Civil Liberties Union is launching an unprecedented, multimillion-dollar midterms initiative aimed at influencing the makeup of state supreme courts and district attorneys in battleground states where abortion access is on the line, Axios reports. The Roe v. Wade reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court empowered states to decide abortion rights. Down-ballot races that rarely get national attention — in addition to a record number of abortion-related ballot measures — are now viewed as the last line of defense in the fight to protect reproductive rights. Voters "see at the federal level that many of their policy preferences aren’t being translated into policy outcomes," said Micah Kubic of the ACLU Kansas chapter.
There are nine state supreme court seats up for grabs across Ohio, Michigan, Montana, Kansas and North Carolina — top targets for the ACLU given the likelihood those courts will deal with abortion litigation. "We're looking at those states where we can create a firewall," said Kary Moss, the ACLU's political director. District attorneys — many of whom will soon be in the position of determining whether to charge someone accused of violating an abortion ban — are another focus. The ACLU is involved in DA races in North Carolina, Nevada, Tennessee and Arizona. "It’s really important we make sure the district attorney is accountable and that we have somebody in that seat who is not going to engage in criminal prosecutions" for abortions, Moss said.