Sen. Josh Hawley raised concerns about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s leniency toward criminals convicted of child pornography during the first day of her confirmation hearing Monday.
Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, also has a pro-abortion record that includes working with abortion activists on a case about suppressing pro-life advocates’ free speech.
Her record on unborn babies’ rights has pro-life advocates opposing her nomination. Then, last week, Hawley, a pro-life Republican, raised additional concerns about Jackson’s “soft” record on child sex offenders.
On Monday, he voiced those concerns in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pointing to seven cases in which Jackson gave lenient sentences to criminals convicted of possessing child pornography and other child sexual abuse charges.
“What concerns me, and I’ve been very candid about this, is that in every case, in each of these seven, Judge Jackson handed down a lenient sentence that was below what the federal guidelines recommended and below what federal prosecutors requested,” the Missouri senator said.
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Hawley pointed to one case where a criminal possessed thousands of images of child pornography and planned to travel across state lines to abuse a 9-year-old girl. The senator said guidelines call for a sentence of 97 to 121 months, but Jackson sentenced the criminal to only 57 months.
Senator Josh Hawley points out how Ketanji Brown Jackson consistently gave light prison sentences to sex traffickers and child pornographers.pic.twitter.com/i4Na7b8DmC
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In another case, Jackson gave a lesser sentence to a man who distributed more than 100 child pornography videos and sent lewd images to his own 10-year-old daughter, he continued.
These cases, he said, represent Jackson’s actions on child sex offenders while serving on the federal district court. He noted that these were cases where she had discretion with the convicts’ sentences; he did not include other cases in which the sentences were mandated by law.
Hawley, who already has received criticism for exposing Jackson’s record, said some critics believe the federal sentencing guidelines are too harsh for child sex crimes, but he disagrees
“The amount of child pornography in circulation has absolutely exploded in recent years,” he continued, citing a New York Times article in which tech companies reported 45 million online photos and videos of children being sexually abused in 2018, twice the amount from the previous year.
Last week, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also released a new report that found 85 million files of child pornography in 2021, he continued.
Hawley said he wants to be fair and to give Jackson the opportunity to explain why she made the decisions that she did.
“I’m not interested in trapping Judge Jackson. I’m not interested in trying to play gotcha. I’m interested in her answers,” Hawley said.
The Missouri lawmaker’s findings come amid concerns among parents about sex being pushed on younger and younger children through school sex education programs (often run by pro-abortion groups), “sexy” summer camps, entertainment media like the “Cuties” film on Netflix and more.
There also appears to be a growing push to normalize pedophilia. An ethics professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia recently was exposed for saying it “is not obvious” to him that an adult having sex with a willing child is wrong.
Jackson’s confirmation hearing is scheduled to continue through Thursday in the U.S. Senate.
Biden promised that he would appoint a black female justice who supports the so-called “right” to abortion on demand, and pro-abortion groups have praised her nomination.