Democrats are using the recent nomination and confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court as political cover for opposing measures to strengthen the penalties for child pornography-related convictions in federal court.
As this year’s midterm elections are continuing to look more and more like a “red wave” disaster for Democrats, they have apparently decided to take a soft approach to prosecute and punish some of the most exploitative and horrific types of crimes against children.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) specifically addressed efforts proposed by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) to strengthen the sentencing guidelines for child porn offenders. In asking, “Why now?” Durbin pointed back to previous legislative acts and court cases. He then said that because modern technology makes accessing child pornography easier than in the past, the guidelines should either be left alone or even relaxed.
During Jackson’s confirmation hearings, Durbin also attacked Hawley for daring to discuss Jackson’s record in sentencing defendants in child porn cases.
Hawley has pointed out previously on Twitter that he had noticed an “alarming pattern” in Jackson’s overall treatment of sex offenders, and of defendants who preyed on children in particular.
Durbin used his time during the confirmation hearings to attack Hawley, calling his statements “baseless” and “unfair.” He said that a National Review columnist said Hawley’s statements were “meritless to the point of demagoguery.” Durbin said Hawley was showing he would not treat Jackson’s nomination “with civility and respect.”
Durbin said of Republicans generally that some had “repeatedly interrupted and badgered” Jackson while accusing her of “vile things” in front of her family. He added that Republicans had wrongfully claimed that Jackson “endangers children” by repeating “discredited claims.”
As a result, Durbin and other Democrats shifted the focus from Jackson’s lenient sentences of some egregious sex offenders to Republicans who dared to “disrespect” her by bringing the topic up.
Now that the confirmation hearings are over and Jackson’s confirmation has been delivered, Democrats may find it difficult to spin their aggressive defense of her record and a relaxed approach to sex offenders as voters prepare to vote in November.