Senate Republicans’ campaign arm is launching another ad offensive against Democrat Cheri Beasley in North Carolina, once again highlighting her past rulings as a state Supreme Court justice.
The new TV ad, shared exclusively with NBC News, is part of a $1.7 million television buy. This is the third round of ads from the National Republican Senatorial Committee attacking Beasley, the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the state Supreme Court, as she faces GOP Rep. Ted Budd in the open Senate race.
“In stopping crime and holding criminals accountable, Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley has failed us,” a narrator says in the 30-second ad. The spot highlights three of the court’s past rulings, reducing the complex cases to seconds-long soundbites.
The narrator goes on to say, “Time after time, and case after case, Cheri Beasley protected criminals, not victims. How can we trust her to protect our families?”
The ad comes after multiple TV stations pulled an NRSC ad off the airwaves earlier this month for making false statements about some of Beasley’s past rulings. Last week, an attorney for one station to do so wrote that the decision to pull the ad was “prematurely sent” to Democratic lawyers.
Beasley spokeswoman Dory MacMillan referenced those stations pulling the ad in her response to the NRSC's latest spot.
“No voter will trust the NRSC’s desperate attacks after eight stations removed their ad for being 'false' and sheriffs across North Carolina called out their despicable lies," MacMillan said in a statement to NBC News. "This is the latest effort to lie about and distort Cheri’s record when the fact is she held dangerous offenders accountable.”
The Beasley campaign noted that her rulings were largely upheld by higher courts. The campaign also shared a joint statement from six North Carolina sheriffs, who said called the NRSC’s attacks on Beasley’s rulings “disgraceful and horrible,” adding that “North Carolinians can trust Cheri to protect our communities and stand up for victims, just like she always has.”
The latest ad spotlights three rulings, including one state Supreme Court case in which the court ruled that a man could not be placed back on death row. The man's death sentence was commuted under a state law allowing defendants to challenge decisions that may have been racially biased. After the law was repealed, the court ruled that reimposing the death sentence would run afoul of double jeopardy protections.
The second ruling involved the court’s decision in 2020 to order a new trial in the case of a man convicted to 100 years in prison for crimes surrounding a shootout with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers. The court found that the man’s attorney was improperly barred from questioning potential jurors about racial biases.
The third ruling referenced in the ad is a 2014 decision in which Beasley dissented from the majority, which ruled that a man convicted of two murders should not be granted early release. The dissent’s author argued that a lower court had found that the man was given credits to count toward his early release, writing that the court “cannot then arbitrarily and with no process take those credits back."