By Nicole Silverio
President Joe Biden attacked Senate Republicans for their “verbal abuse” and “vile” criticism of confirmed Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Friday.
“I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I knew the person I nominated would be put through a painful and difficult confirmation process,” the president said. “But I have to tell you, what Judge Jackson [was] put through was well beyond that. It was verbal abuse. The anger, the constant interruptions, the most vile, baseless assertions and accusations. In the face of it all, Judge Jackson showed the incredible character and integrity she possesses.”
The Senate confirmed Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court Thursday with a 53-46 vote. Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine broke partisan lines by voting in favor of the nominee.
Republican senators questioned Jackson on her sentencing record for child pornography offenders, first raised by Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, with allegations that she handed light sentences outside of the mandatory minimum guidelines.
Hawley cited the case United States v. Hawkins, where Jackson sentenced an 18-year-old child pornography offender to 3 months imprisonment, despite guidelines recommending up to 10 years in prison. In the case United States v. Stewart, she sentenced a felon consisting of thousands of child porn images to 57 months in prison, though the guidelines recommend 97-121 imprisonment.
Hawley confronted Jackson’s previous statements when she allegedly apologized to the defendant in the Hawkins case and for saying that he possessed images of his “peers.” Jackson said she considered all outside factors of the case before deciding a sentence in what she called an “unusual” case. (RELATED: ‘I Have No Patience For It’: Tom Cotton Doubles Down On Claim That Ketanji Brown Jackson Would Have Defended Nazis)
Jackson also received criticism for declining to define the term “woman” when pressed by Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn. The senator said her inability to provide a definition “underscores the dangers” of progressive education and allows for biological males to compete in women’s sports.
“The fact that you can’t give me a straight answer about something as fundamental as what a woman is, that underscores the dangers of the kind of progressive education that we are hearing about,” Blackburn said. “Just last week, an entire generation of young girls watched as our taxpayer-funded institutions permitted a biological man to compete and beat a biological woman in the NCAA Swimming Championships.”
Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton claimed Jackson would have defended Nazis during the Nuremberg trials on the Senate floor Tuesday, due to her representing Guantanamo Bay detainees in the early 2000s. The senator faced backlash for the remarks.