Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s pick to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court, has “an alarming pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook for their appalling crimes,” according to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).
“I’ve been researching the record of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, reading her opinions, articles, interviews, and speeches,” Hawley wrote in a March 16 Twitter thread. “I’ve noticed an alarming pattern when it comes to Judge Jackson’s treatment of sex offenders, especially those preying on children.
“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 noted that Jackson has held this pattern since law school, citing a tract written by her in law school stating that public policy toward sex offenders and possession of child porn is driven by a “climate of fear, hatred, and revenge.” In the document, she called for abandoning child sex offender laws with a primarily “punitive” focus.
“Judges should abandon the prevention/punishment analyses that rely on legislative intent … [and] assess the ‘excessiveness’ of a sex offender statute’s punitive effects in favor of a more principled approach to characterization,” Jackson wrote.
She said in the paper that what, exactly, the new sex offender laws should look like is “almost impossible to construct.” But she said that “a principled approach involves assessing the impact of sex offender statutes and deeming the laws ‘punitive’ to the extent that they operate to deprive sex criminals of a legal right in a manner that primarily has retributive or general-deterrent effects.”
“As a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Judge Jackson advocated for drastic change in how the law treats sex offenders by eliminating the existing mandatory minimum sentences for child porn,” Hawley wrote.
In another document, Jackson suggested that many people in possession of child porn “are in this for either the collection, or the people … are loners and find status in their participation in the community.”
“What community would that be? The community of child exploiters?” Hawley wrote.
Once she was appointed to the bench, Jackson “put her troubling views into action,” according to Hawley.
“In every single child porn case for which we can find records, Judge Jackson deviated from the federal sentencing guidelines in favor of child porn offenders,” he wrote.
Hawley then listed a series of cases involving possession of child pornography. In every case, Jackson gave the convicted person a significantly shorter term in prison than the guidelines called for.
“This is a disturbing record for any judge, but especially one nominated to the highest court in the land. Protecting the most vulnerable shouldn’t be up for debate,” Hawley wrote. “Sending child predators to jail shouldn’t be controversial.”
He said many files remain unavailable to him, and he demanded that they fully be made public.
During a March 17 press conference, White House press secretary Jen Psaki rejected Hawley’s assertion, saying that Jackson’s record on child sex offenders was largely in line with government sentencing recommendations.
“What I would say, though, because there are others in the Senate who have made faulty accusations about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record, and specifically about her record on child sex crimes, so let me just take the opportunity to clear that up,” Psaki said.
“Not that most people have confusion about it, but in the vast majority of cases involving child sex crimes, the sentences Judge Jackson imposed were consistent with or above what the government or U.S. probation recommended.
“She comes from a law enforcement family, has devoted her career to standing up for the rule of law, which is why she is endorsed by so many leading law enforcement organizations in the country. Attempts to smear or discredit her history and her work are not borne out in facts.”
Jackson didn’t respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
Nick Ciolino contributed to this report.