For all their posturing about defending children from abuse, their record tells another story

All of this spilled into last week’s confirmation hearings for US supreme court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, which Senate Republicans did their best to derail by mischaracterizing her sentencing on cases on child sexual abuse images. As has been widely reported, those sentences had been entirely in keeping with sentences delivered by most federal judges in comparable cases, including sentences delivered by Trump judicial appointees with broad Republican support. But that mattered not a whit to Republicans on the Hill. “Every judge who does what you’re doing is making it easier for the children to be exploited,” Lindsey Graham told Jackson in a heated exchange. Ted Cruz accused Jackson of “a record of activism and advocacy as it concerns sexual predators that stems back decades”.

And Josh Hawley, best-known for defending Donald Trump’s allegations of election fraud and cheering on the rioters at the Capitol on January 6, led the pack with a fusillade of similar attacks on Jackson at the hearings and on social media. “I’ve noticed an alarming pattern when it comes to Judge Jackson’s treatment of sex offenders, especially those preying on children,” he tweeted ahead of the hearings. “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.”

Again, the Republican attacks on Jackson’s record, like the rest of their fearmongering about kids these days, have been ludicrous. It is true, though, that one of our parties has proven itself remarkably willing to defend sexual predators in recent years.

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