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SCOTUS Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson's Record on Sex Offenders Raises Concerns in the Senate

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's judicial record is facing increasing scrutiny as the Senate confirmation hearings for President Biden's nominee to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer draw closer, and one subset of the cases she handled has Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) demanding answers.


In a thread posted on Wednesday evening, Hawley pointed out that during his review of Judge Jackson's past decisions, speeches, and writings he "noticed an alarming pattern when it comes to Judge Jackson’s treatment of sex offenders, especially those preying on children."

According to Hawley's review, "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," and that pattern is one for which "[s]he’s been advocating...since law school." As Hawley points out before listing several examples, Judge Jackson's position "goes beyond 'soft on crime'" and shows "a record that endangers our children."

One example Hawley found in his review showed Judge Jackson fretting about convicted sex offenders being forced to register and suggesting such policies are driven by a "climate of fear, hatred, and revenge."

Hawley found that Judge Jackson "has also questioned sending dangerous sex offenders to civil commitment," and "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."


In addition, it appears Judge Jackson has something of an obsession with understanding people who possess child porn but...aren't pedophiles? Or are less-serious pedophiles? 

Here are some of the examples Hawley found:

Judge Jackson seems to be seeking an exception to existing policy used to punish those who possess child porn but who she thinks only possess it because they're "in this for the community," who are motivated by "the challenge or to use the technology," or are "nonpedophiles who obtain child pornography." Big yikes. 


Even worse, Hawley reports that "the Sentencing Commission has refused to turn over all Judge Jackson’s records from her time there. In light of what we have learned, this stonewalling must end," Hawley added in his demand for access to "all relevant records."

The viewpoints expressed by Judge Jackson while on the U.S. Sentencing Commission were apparently put into action once Biden's nominee became a federal judge. According to Hawley's review, "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." 

Among the sentencing decisions Hawley reviewed, there were multiple examples of Judge Jackson handing down lesser punishments than what is called for in federal sentencing guidelines. Just a few raise even more questions about what Jude Jackson is thinking:


Are these examples of what Judge Jackson considers to be merely "nonpedophiles" who obtain child pornography? Seems pretty sick.

"This is a disturbing record for any judge, but especially one nominated to the highest court in the land," Hawley noted in his thread of examples. "Protecting the most vulnerable shouldn’t be up for debate. Sending child predators to jail shouldn’t be controversial."


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