Attorney General Steve Marshall testified his opposition Thursday before the U.S Senate in the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Marshall began his remarks by drawing attention to what he believes is of vital importance in the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) nomination. Marshall drew attention to the rising rates of violent crimes nationwide and how Jackson’s nomination would affect the federal policies related to crime and law enforcement.
“As members of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, you are likely well-acquainted with the wave of lawlessness that has swept across our nation these past few years, leading to a surge in criminality and crime—including, most banefully, a dramatic spike in homicides—unseen since the 1990s,” Marshall said. “While the lawmaking branches of our State and Federal governments are responsible for setting the policies that will alleviate or exacerbate this grim reality, this week presents an important opportunity to discuss the role that the judiciary plays in the criminal justice system and the effect judges’ decisions have on public safety.”
In his written testimony presented before the U.S Senate, Marshall objected to a previous statement of Jackson’s where she claimed there was a need to “fundamentally redesign” the criminal justice system. Marshall claimed that he believed Jackson’s nomination could be a plan to do just that.
“As we know from history, the United States Supreme Court can absolutely change criminal justice, for better or for worse,” Marshall said. “The Senate must now do its due diligence that the ideology of the anti-incarceration and anti-police movement –views that the Biden administration seemingly has increasingly embraced – is never permitted to make its way onto our Supreme Court.”
He also gave citations from multiple sources supporting Jackson, which Marshall believes indicates the type of reform Jackson and her supporters' desire.
“[Jackson’s] years of experience representing the most vulnerable as a public defender and working to address disparities in federal criminal sentencing on the U.S. Sentencing Commission will be a welcome addition to the court,” said Earthjustice Senior Vice President of Programs Sam Sankar.
“With her exceptional qualifications and record of evenhandedness, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be a Justice who will uphold the Constitution and protect the rights of all Americans, including the voiceless and vulnerable,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Marshall believes that the current trend of giving lighter sentences to offenders disregards consideration of the victims of violent crimes, a sentiment he believes Jackson and her supporters have long embraced.
Jackson has come under fire recently for alleged leniency in sentencing those convicted of child pornography.
Although Marshall did not draw attention to her history in sentencing sex offenders, he did draw attention to her previous questioning of the community notification requirements for those convicted of sex crimes. He further claimed that her questioning of community notification requirements flew in the face of bipartisan support and broad public sympathy.
“I have heard nothing this week to alleviate my fear that Judge Jackson believes that a fundamental redesign is needed in our criminal justice system and that she would be so inclined to use her position on the court to this end,” Marshall said. “For this reason, I respectfully oppose her nomination.”
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