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 got 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 child porn possession. In every one of them, 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.”