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GOP Attacks on SCOTUS Nominee Are ‘Off Course’

  • Sen. Mitt Romney pushed back on GOP attacks against Ketanji Brown Jackson as “off course.”
  • Several GOP members have raised concerns about Jackson’s record on child pornography cases.
  • “It struck me that it was off course,” Romney told the Washington Post.

Sen. Mitt Romney on Tuesday criticized his Republican colleagues’ attacks against President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record on child pornography cases.

“It struck me that it was off course, meaning the attacks were off course that came from some,” Romney told The Washington Post’s Paul Kane on Tuesday. “And there is no there, there.”

Several GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday brought up child pornography cases that Jackson dealt with in her time as a federal district judge. The senators said Jackson imposed a lighter sentence than the federal guidelines recommended and argued that she’s lenient toward child pornography offenders.

Fact checkers and legal experts have said the GOP claims lack context and are misleading, citing evidence that Jackson’s sentencing fell within the standards of most federal judges. 

Jackson herself rejected the accusations on multiple occasions on Tuesday as Republican senators pressed her on the topic.

“In every case, I did my duty to hold the defendants accountable in light of the evidence and the information that was presented to me,” Jackson said in response to a question from Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who first circulated the claims against her on Twitter last week, used his entire allotted time of questioning to grill Jackson on the child pornography cases.

In what appeared to be her most forceful rejection yet, Jackson repeatedly defended her record and denounced the child pornography crimes. 

“As a judge, who is a mom, and has been tasked with the responsibility of actually reviewing the evidence,” Jackson said, “the evidence that you would not describe in polite company, the evidence that you are pointing to, discussing, addressing in this context, is evidence that I have seen in my role as a judge, and it is heinous. It is egregious.”

“What a judge has to do is determine how to sentence defendants proportionately consistent with the elements that the statutes include with the requirements that Congress has set forward,” she added. 

Romney does not serve on the Judiciary Committee, but he will vote on Jackson’s confirmation. 

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