Congressman Barry Moore has joined in a letter calling for an investigation into Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s previous sentencing of child-sex offenders.

Jackson has predictably been under the microscope after being nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President Joe Biden. 

The letter calling on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary to investigate Jackson came on the same day as her first confirmation hearing before the U.S Senate. During the proceedings, GOP lawmakers drew attention to the difference between Jackson’s confirmation process and the confirmation of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in which Kavanaugh was lambasted with multiple last-minute accusations of sexual assault. 

On March 16, accusations poured in from Sen Josh Hawley (R-Mo), claiming that Jackson has a history of being too lenient in sentencing those charged with possession of child pornography during her time as a district court judge. Hawley had previously criticized Jackson for her functioning as a public defense attorney for terrorism suspects detained in Guantanamo Bay. He would go on to use social media to cite cases in which he believed Jackson was too lenient on offenders by issuing sentences less than were suggested in the federal sentencing guidelines.

In United States v. Sears, the sex offender distributed more than 102 child porn videos. He also sent lewd pictures of his own 10-year-old daughter. The Guidelines recommended 97-121 months in prison. Judge Jackson gave him 71 months.

— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 16, 2022
The letter signed by Moore and 18 other members of Congress alleges that Jackson has continuously sided with sexual predators.  

“Dating back more than a decade, to her time as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, it appears she has exhibited a profoundly troubling pattern of leniency towards some of the most disturbing crimes in our society,” the letter reads.  “Incredibly, for every child pornography case in which Judge Jackson has ruled and for which records are available, she deviated from federal sentencing guidelines in favor of the offenders.”

The letter calls for the Senate Judiciary Committee to launch a full-scale investigation into Jackson’s record as a judge related to her sentencing of child predators.  

Hawley’s accusations were immediately addressed by judges, lawyers, lawmakers, and others claiming that the allegations were misleading and disingenuous. Many said that it is relatively commonplace for judges to use discretion in sentencing those convicted of child pornography. Nearly all fact-checkers conceded that Jackson went below the federal sentencing guidelines. However, nearly all also claimed a nearly unanimous belief amongst judges and lawyers that the sentencing guidelines are too broad-brush and often too harsh for “non-production” child pornography cases. 

“This is toxic and weakly-presented misinformation that relies on taking cherry-picked elements of her record out of context - and it buckles under the lightest scrutiny,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said.

Nine former federal judges signed a letter defending Jackson’s record in sentencing child predators.  

The social media arm for the Senate Judiciary Committee released a letter analyzing Hawley’s claims versus the sentencing guidelines recommended by specific experts.  

NEW: "We have read with dismay the statements of Sen. Joshua Hawley…we have examined the evidence advanced to support this claim and find it without merit."

Read this letter from sentencing experts Mizzou Law Prof. Frank Bowman, III, OSU Law’s Douglas Berman, & Paul Hofer.

— Senate Judiciary Committee (@JudiciaryDems) March 21, 2022

Jackson has not addressed the accusations directly. However, as the confirmation process continues, it will undoubtedly be brought up in the proceedings.

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