3 Tense Moments from Jackson’s Supreme Court Hearing
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing has been riddled with tense remarks and exchanges. Here are 5 from the last few days in court.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) questioning Jackson’s sentencing in child pornography cases:
“I think you’re doing it wrong. And every judge who is doing what you’re doing is making it easier for children to be exploited,” Graham said.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) questioning Jackson’s handling of child pornography cases:
Hawley quoted Jackson’s statement from the sentencing in the case United States v. Hawkins, where she handed down a sentence of three months in prison — falling far short of the government’s recommendation of two years and the federal government’s advisory guideline of eight years minimum.
During the sentencing, Jackson said it wasn’t appropriate to increase a sentence based on the number of images involved because “these circumstances exist in many cases if not most and don’t signal an especially heinous or egregious child pornography offense.”
“I just want to ask you about that, because I just have to tell you, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it. We’re talking about eight-year olds and nine-year olds and 11-year olds and 12-year olds. He’s got images of these the government said added up to over 600 images, gobs of video footage of these children, but you say this does not signal a heinous or egregious child pornography offense,” Hawley said.
“What word would you use if it’s not heinous or egregious?” he asked.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) interrupting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during a line of questioning:
Durbin banged his gavel and told Cruz that his 20 minutes was up, just as Cruz was in the midst of questioning Jackson about her sentencing in child pornography cases.
At one point, Durbin told Jackson she didn’t need to answer the Texas lawmaker’s questions.
“You’re not recognized, senator,” Durbin said to Cruz, after he pressed Jackson on her reasons for giving the defendant in United States v. Stewart roughly half the length of the recommended prison sentence.
“You don’t want her to answer that question?” Cruz asked.
“You’ve gone over the time, senator, by two minutes,” Durbin said.
“Because you’ve interrupted me for two minutes, chairman. Will you allow her to answer the question or do you not want the American people to hear why, with someone she described as an egregious —” Cruz said, before Durbin interrupted him again.
“Why are you not allowing her to answer the question?” Cruz asked. “Chairman Durbin, I’ve never seen the chairman refuse to allow a witness to answer questions.”
At that point, Durbin banged his gavel, prompting Cruz to say: “Bang it as loud as you want.”