March 21, 2022

Republicans don't care about their "advise and consent" duties. They see any nomination by a Democratic president as something to be stopped at all costs, and today's Senate Judiciary committee hearing on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court won't be any different. They will try to mask any racial overtones, but let's face it: They're Republicans. Racism is part of their political DNA. So expect some tense moments. Via The New York Times:

Last week, Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican who sits on the panel and will question Judge Jackson, claimed his review of her judicial record had determined that she had been lenient in sentencing some sex offenders and those convicted of possessing child pornography. He also suggested that, as a member of the United States Sentencing Commission, she worked to reduce penalties for those caught with child pornography. A detailed background paper prepared for the Judiciary Committee made a similar case.

At the same time, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, has doubled down on his suggestion that Judge Jackson’s experience as a public defender could influence her view of the law and lead her to favor criminal defendants.

“Her supporters look at her résumé and deduce a special empathy for criminals,” Mr. McConnell said in a lengthy floor speech in which he argued that her work on behalf of the accused was a blot on her record. “I guess that means that government prosecutors and innocent crime victims start each trial at a disadvantage.”

The increasingly hostile critiques of Judge Jackson suggest that her confirmation hearings might not be the sober, drama-free proceeding that many had anticipated when she was nominated to replace Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who has announced he will retire at the end of the court’s current term this summer.

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