Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) grilled Supreme Court Justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson Tuesday about her alleged leniency toward child pornographers.
Hawley asked Jackson, regarding her time as a federal district court judge, about giving child pornographers more lenient sentences than what the sentencing guidelines recommend.
Hawley said in one case that Jackson contended that the person being convicted of possessing child pornography was not a “pedophile.” He noted that Jackson only gave the child pornographer three months, far lower than what the sentencing guideline suggested.
Hawley said, “You said to him, ‘This is a truly difficult situation. I appreciate that your family is in the audience. I feel so sorry for them and for you, and for the anguish this has caused all of you. I feel terrible about the collateral consequences of this conviction.”
“Then. you said, ‘Pedophiles are truly shunned in this society,’” he added.
“I’m just trying to figure out, Judge, is he the victim here? Or are the victims the victims?”
Senator Hawley questions Judge Jackson on her lenient sentencing and apology to a sex offender. pic.twitter.com/eL66oCIRXs
— Senator Hawley Press Office (@SenHawleyPress) March 22, 2022
Hawley said to Jackson, “I’m just trying to figure out, Judge, is he the victim here? Or are the victims the victims?”
Jackson said the case was “unusual” because the defense asked for probation for the offender, and he had just graduated from high school. Jackson emphasized that she wanted to avoid “unwarranted sentencing disparities.”
Ketanji Brown Jackson says the case was “unusual” b/c…
– Defense called for probation”
– Defendant had “just graduated from high school”
– It was “inconsistent w/some of the other cases” how he fell into child porn
– She wanted to avoid “unwarranted sentencing disparities” pic.twitter.com/OyVzZL5vnd
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 22, 2022
“You describe how heinous [the crimes are], and yet here you are giving him three months and apologizing to him and saying you’re sorry for the anguish it has caused him,” he added.
During the Supreme Court nomination hearing, Jackson argued that the congressional statutes and the sentencing are not up to date.
Senator Hawley outlines Judge Jackson’s sentencing leniency towards child porn offenders. pic.twitter.com/MPcIrCddiz
— Senator Hawley Press Office (@SenHawleyPress) March 21, 2022
“With all due respect…I’ll be direct with you. I am questioning your discretion and your judgment. That’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m not questioning you as a person. I’m not questioning your excellence as a judge, frankly. But you said it. You had discretion,” he said.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.