Which SCOTUS Pick was Treated Worse?
Three-and-a-half years ago, Democrats in the Senate conducted the worst coordinated attack on a Supreme Court nominee in American history. Now, the establishment media is trying to rewrite history.
In an editorial published Wednesday, The Washington Post editorial board claimed that Republicans have treated current Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson “worse” in her confirmation hearing than Democrats treated Brett Kavanaugh.
The editorial said Republicans “have smeared Judge Jackson based on obvious distortions of her record and the law” in what it described as “clownish performances.”
Meanwhile, in the previous hearings, “it was Mr. Kavanaugh who behaved intemperately, personally attacking Democratic senators and revealing partisan instincts that raised questions about his commitment to impartiality,” the board said.
If the Post’s editorial board wants to play the comparison game, let’s get right to it.
In 2018, then-President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh was an established judge who had undergone six FBI background checks in the previous 25 years without any serious allegations against him, according to the Heritage Foundation.
Nonetheless, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California received an unsubstantiated allegation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh from a woman named Christine Blasey Ford.
She hid the letter for over six weeks until just before Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, and then she briefed only her Democratic colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee about the letter.
By the time the hearings started, many Senate Democrats had already decided Kavanaugh was guilty. They spent most of their questioning time trying to force him to admit guilt despite his insistence that he was innocent.
Some Democrats went as far as to bring out calendars from 30-some years prior, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota even questioned Kavanaugh about his college drinking habits.
The implication, of course, was that if Kavanaugh was a heavy drinker in college, that proved he most likely raped someone and did not remember all the details.
Attacks like these were baseless and disgusting, and an investigation proved how shoddy they were.
In its opinion article, the Post’s editorial board said Ford “credibly accused Mr. Kavanaugh of sexual assault.” In reality, her allegations were proven to have no credibility at all.
According to the Heritage Foundation, the Senate Judiciary Committee said after its investigation in 2019 that it “found no witness who could provide any verifiable evidence to support any of the allegations brought against.”
It did not stop there.
The committee also said even after “separate and extensive investigations by both the committee and the FBI, there was no evidence to substantiate any of the claims of sexual assault made against Justice Kavanaugh.”
Unless the Post can provide evidence neither committee nor the FBI could, calling the allegations against Kavanaugh “credible” is a deliberate lie. Democrats attempted to turn a weak and unverified allegation against Kavanaugh into a bludgeon to hit him with, and they ultimately failed.
Compare that to the supposedly horrible treatment Jackson has been subjected to this week.
Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri were among those who questioned the nominee about her record of sentencing child pornography offenders to less time than the guidelines recommended.
“Every single case, 100 percent of them, when prosecutors came before you with child pornography cases, you sentenced the defenders to substantially below not just the guidelines, which are way higher, but what the prosecutor asked for on average of these cases, 47.2 percent less,” Cruz said.
Ted Cruz pulls out his white board to illustrate how in child pornography cases, Ketanji Brown Jackson gave the defendants an average 47.2% less sentence than what the prosecutors recommended. pic.twitter.com/7VUnbdAg2E
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 22, 2022
Hawley asked her about a case in which she gave an offender an extremely lenient three-month sentence — and then apologized to him.
“You said to him, ‘This is a truly difficult situation. I appreciate that your family’s 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.’ And then you go on to say, ‘Sex offenders are truly shunned in our society.’
“I’m just trying to figure out, judge, is he the victim here, or are the victims the victims?”
There is more to her record on the issue. According to The New York Times, the U.S. Sentencing Commission sent a report to Congress in 2012 that said sentencing guidelines for child pornography crimes “fail to differentiate among offenders in terms of their culpability.” Jackson was a member of the commission at the time.
While there is no mandatory minimum sentence for possession of child porn, receiving or distributing it carries a minimum five-year sentence. In the report, the commission argued that the penalties for possession and receipt should be the same and that the mandatory minimum sentence should be less than five years for both.
The Times was attempting to fact-check allegations against Jackson by using semantics. The outlet said the assertion that Jackson advocated for lighter sentences for child pornography offenses was “overly broad” and “omits that the commission is bipartisan and issued the recommendations as a body.”
The establishment media can play these word games all day, but the fact is that a commission on which Jackson served argued for lighter penalties for child pornographers, and Jackson did not disagree. That is a disturbing fact.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina asked Jackson about her involvement with this commission, for which the Post criticized him and said he “painted her as a friend of child pornographers.”
Graham did question her about her position on child pornographers, and rightfully so. But he did not need to paint her as a “friend of child pornographers,” because she did that all by herself.
In her words and record, Jackson has seemed to paint child pornographers as some sort of victims. On the contrary, most normal people agree with Graham that putting these people in jail for decades is a good thing for society.
The Post also mentioned Cruz’s questioning of Jackson on racial issues. The senator asked her about some of the books recommended for students at Georgetown Day School in Washington, for which Jackson sits on the board.
Cruz brought up “Anti-Racist Baby” by Ibram X. Kendi, which says on one page that babies must “confess when being racist.”
“Do you agree with this book that is being taught with kids that babies are racist?” he asked.
Jackson said she did not believe children “should be made to feel as though they are racist, or though they are not valued or though they are less than.”
Granted, this line of questioning might not be directly related to Jackson’s qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court, and the Post is right in saying that she “has never endorsed” these ideas explicitly.
Yet even if Cruz’s questions were slightly out of line, they were nothing compared with the Democrats’ unsubstantiated allegations of rape against Kavanaugh.
The fact is that Senate confirmation hearings have become heavily politicized on both sides of the aisle, and Republicans certainly are not innocent of partisanship in this process. With that said, the Democrats’ treatment of Kavanaugh makes Jackson’s hearings look like a cakewalk.