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While GOP Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and John Cornyn (TX) promised a “respectful” hearing, two of their fellow Republican colleagues are hinting at attacks they plan to launch against Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Last week, Senator and seditionist Josh Hawley (R-MO) launched a Twitter campaign against Judge Jackson. Hawley claimed he noticed patterns regarding Judge Jackson’s “treatment of sex offenders, especially those preying on children.”
Hawley cites seven cases to surmise that Judge Jackson is unwilling to sentence individuals convicted of sex offenses to the full extend of the law. The Missouri Senator, famous for egging-on a violent, White-supremacist coup on January 6th, claims Judge Jackson’s record “endangers our children”.
Mike Lee, the Utah Republican Senator who also sits on the Judiciary committee, effectively co-signed these outlandish claims.
The facts, of course, do not bear this out.
Republican leaders push baseless claims attacking Jackson
In one of the cases Hawley mentioned, for instance, US v. Chazin, the Senator claims Jackson sentenced Adam Chazin to 35% of the “recommended sentence”.
“The offender had 48 files of child porn, which he had accessed over a period of years,” Hawley tweeted. “The Guidelines recommended 78-97 months. Judge Jackson gave him 28.”
Had Hawley bothered to read the publicly available sentencing report, he would have seen Jackson sentenced Chazin to 28 months in prison and 73 months of probation. In total, that Judge Jackson handed down a sentence of 101 months.
Hawley also chose to bring up an opinion Jackson signed on to as a Harvard Law student in 1996. In that publication, Jackson questioned the culture of forcing individuals convicted of sexual-related crimes to register as sex offenders. Hawley asserted Jackson, a mother of two daughters, doesn’t want to “protect children”.
While Ketanji Brown Jackson has not advocated this position since graduating from Law School, it’s clear Hawley, Lee and others lack an understanding of the nuance surrounding these laws.
Currently, federal law requires varying registration based upon conviction. Non-violent offenders convicted of public indecency or voyeurism are required to be registered as sex offenders for 10-15 years. Many have questioned whether the law itself is too expansive in its breadth.
Outrageous attacks on Judge Jackson are vast and absurd
The attacks on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, however, go far beyond these charges levied by Sens. Hawley and Lee.
Right wing groups and talking heads are fighting to diminish and demean Judge Jackson’s record. The push to block her nomination extends from Tucker Carlson’s racist and idiotic musings about Jackson’s LSAT scores to attacks from Mike Pence’s PAC.
Anti-LGBT Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn (Republican) voiced concern in today’s hearings about Judge Jackson sitting on a board of a school. Blackburn inferred Jackson favors “indoctrinating children” with a “progressive agenda” because of the school’s focus on anti-racist education. Apparently, for Blackburn and other Republicans, teaching children not to be racist is un-American.
Today, Blackburn questioned if Jackson had a “hidden agenda” that would endanger children and families. This disgusting attack is not new for Blackburn.
In January, Senator Blackburn attempted to use speeding tickets to smear a Black judicial nominee. The nominee, Andre Mathis, was never once arrested or charged with a crime, but that doesn’t matter to Blackburn.
In 2020, she was labeled a ‘lifetime b—h” by a respected Chinese journalist for saying the country had “a 5,000 year history of cheating and stealing”.
In fact, the attacks on Jackson are so pervasive and wide-ranging, there’s even an entire website dedicated to tracking these attacks.
It remains to be seen how these hearings will play out as they continue.
What is certain is that today, throughout every absurd statement, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson remained stoic, confident and unbothered.