Blackburn Demands Ketanji Brown Jackson Explain Release of Violent Criminals
Senator grills Biden's SCOTUS nominee on decisions as a federal district judge
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has demanded that Ketanji Brown Jackson explains why she authorized the release of violent criminals from prisons during the pandemic.
Blackburn addressed the opening day of Jackson's confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court on Monday by questioning her decisions as a federal district judge.
The senator had previously signaled her focus during an interview on Fox News on Sunday.
"She would’ve let 1,500 prisoners go during COVID," Blackburn told host Maria Bartiromo.
"Among the ones she let go were a murderer, [and] a bank robber," she noted.
"These are hardened criminals back on the streets.”
In the hearing, Blackburn was even more direct in her criticism, alleging that the judge was partial toward criminals and terrorists:
At the start of the pandemic, you advocated, and again I wrote, for “each and every criminal defendant in the D.C. Department of Corrections custody should be released.”
That would have been 1500 criminals back on the street if you had had your way.
And you used the COVID-19 pandemic as justification to release a fentanyl drug dealer, a bank robber addicted to heroin, and a convict who murdered a U.S. Marshal into our communities.
But your efforts to protect convicts began before the pandemic.
You used your time and talent, not to serve our nation’s veterans or other vulnerable groups, but to provide free legal services to help terrorists get out of Gitmo and go back to the fight.
Blackburn said that Judge Jackson had supported “restrictions on children and families, and freedom for criminals.”
Sen. Blackburn connected Judge Jackson’s record to the ongoing crime wave in Democrat-run cities nationwide.
She also echoed criticism by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) about Judge Jackson’s allegedly soft sentences for convicted sex offenders.
Republicans were generally muted in their approach on the first day of the hearings, which was largely devoted to opening statements.
Judge Jackson also struck a bipartisan tone with a heartfelt speech in which she thanked God and her family.
But several Senators indicated that they would raise tough questions about her record.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he wanted to know why so many left-wing groups preferred Judge Jackson to Judge Michelle Childs of South Carolina, his home state, who was the preferred candidate of Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), a key political ally of Joe Biden.
Sen. Hawley was measured in his tone but indicated that he intended to pursue questions about sentencing for sex offenders.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) flagged Judge Jackson’s documented past support for Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter and noted that he would raise the question of radical left-wing prosecutors who are backed by left-wing donor George Soros.
Graham and others were at pains to distinguish the civil behavior of Republicans from the violent protests and inflammatory accusations that Democrats had used during the confirmation hearings of Republican nominees like Justice Brett Kavanaugh.