Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri on Thursday doubled down on his attack against Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, targeting her record in sex offense cases.
Hawley had posted several tweets on Wednesday accusing Jackson, who was chosen to fulfill President Joe Biden’s pledge to nominate a black woman to the court, of showing leniency to sex offenders during her time as a judge.
“Judge Jackson has a pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook for their appalling crimes, both as a judge and as a policymaker. She’s been advocating for it since law school. This goes beyond ‘soft on crime.’ I’m concerned that this [is] a record that endangers our children,” Hawley tweeted as part of a series of comments.
Judge Jackson has a pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook for their appalling crimes, both as a judge and as a policymaker. She’s been advocating for it since law school. This goes beyond “soft on crime.” I’m concerned that this a record that endangers our children
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 16, 2022
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a Thursday media briefing that Republicans were disseminating “faulty accusations” by citing Jackson’s record and that Hawley had taken some of the judge’s comments out of context.
Hawley appeared on the Fox News show “Hannity” to explain his concerns.
He said in researching Jackson’s record he found “a pattern of treating sex offenders leniently.”
“I think we just have a basic question to ask: Are we going to get a judge here who’s going to protect children or who’s going to protect child predators?” he said.
“It’s a simple question. It’s one I think that every parent in America would like answered. But it’s one that the White House doesn’t want to answer, and so far Judge Jackson doesn’t want to answer it. Total radio silence from her,” Hawley said.
“If you look at her record, what you see is this is someone who has consistently let sex predators, child sex predators, off the hook. For people who have been convicted of child porn offenses, she’s consistently given them lenient sentences, slaps on the wrist,” he said.
Hawley said Jackson’s entire body of thought appears skewed in favor of sex offenders.
“This is someone who has raised the question whether sex offender registries are unconstitutional, whether notifying parents when there’s a sex offender in the area is unconstitutional. She suggested all of that. I mean, this is very troubling. We need to get the answers,” he said.
“If you look at what she’s done as a judge on the bench, when she had the chance to put away child predators over and over again, when it comes to these child porn cases — these are pedophiles we’re talking about — she chose to give them the lightest sentence possible in case after case,” Hawley said.
“I haven’t been able to find a single case where she has had a child porn offender, a pedophile, in front of her where she hasn’t given him the most lenient sentence she possibly could.”
Hawley noted that when Jackson served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, “she voted to get rid of the mandatory minimum sentences for child porn.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt that Jackson’s record will be focused on during her confirmation hearings, according to Politico.
“Her supporters look at her resume and deduce a special empathy for criminals,” McConnell said.