When Pressed by Sen. Hawley on Her Lenient Record, Judge Jackson Can’t Respond

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Building on his questioning during yesterday’s Supreme Court hearing, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) questioned Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson today on her sentencing record in various child pornography cases. When asked again about United States v. Hawkins, Judge Jackson would not say if she regretted her decision to sentence the defendant to just three months in prison, then refused to engage on several of Senator Hawley’s questions about the thought process behind her decision not to give more severe sentences for criminals based on the amount of child pornography in their possession.

From their conversation: 

Senator Hawley said, “I’m asking you if you regret the sentence in this case, and it sounds like the answer is no. I regret it. Let me read what you said about these kinds of cases. ‘Some of the children you saw in those pictures will never have a normal adult relationship. Some will turn to drugs and prostitution and other vices to try to deal emotionally with the pain that results for the torture they have experiences… Some people are even unable to leave their houses because once those pictures are on the internet, they are there forever. The victims can’t do anything without worrying that every person they meet has seen them in their most vulnerable state at the most horrible time in their lives.’ Those are your words. Powerful words. I just don’t understand why after saying this, you could give this guy three months in prison when the probation officer that we have heard so much about recommended eighteen months. Do you have anything to add?”

Judge Jackson responded, “No, Senator.”