Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) opened the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Monday by challenging her decisions as a federal district judge to set free dangerous criminals during COVID.
In an interview on Fox News, Sen. Blackburn said she plans to focus on COVID: “She would’ve let 1,500 prisoners go during COVID. Among the ones she released were a murderer and a bank robber. These are hardened convicts walking the streets again.”
In the trial, Blackburn was even more biting in her remarks, claiming that the judge was prejudiced in favor of criminals and terrorists:
“At the start of the epidemic, you called for ‘each and every criminal defendant in D.C. Department of Corrections custody to be released,’ as quoted.” If you had your way, that would have resulted in 1500 felons being set free on the streets. You argued that a fentanyl drug dealer, a bank robber hooked on heroin, and a convict who murdered an American marshal should be released because to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to note, however, that your efforts to defend convicted persons began before the pandemic. You devoted your time and talents to serving our nation’s veterans and other vulnerable people rather than giving free legal assistance to terrorists wanting to get out of Gitmo and rejoin the battle.”
Sen. Blackburn said that Judge Jackson had backed “restrictions on children and families, as well as criminal freedom.” And she echoed Sen. Hawley (R-MO) who has slammed the judiciary’s allegedly mild penalties for convicted sex offenders, saying that they were part of a larger problem with insufficient jail space in Democrat-controlled cities across the country.
On the first day of hearings, which was primarily taken up with opening statements, Republicans were cautious in their approach. In a heartfelt speech, Judge Jackson thanked God and her family as well as her colleagues for their support.
Several senators stated that they would ask her tough questions about her record. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he wanted to know why so many leftist organizations preferred Judge Jackson, a Democrat, to Judge Michelle Childs of South Carolina, his home state and the choice of Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), Biden’s strong political ally.
Graham and others were eager to clarify the difference between reasonable Republican conduct and the violent protests and bigoted accusations that had been utilized by Democrats against Republicans during Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.