Lindsey Graham strikes a caustic tone when questioning Jackson

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson had the most heated exchange of Wednesday morning aft...


Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson had the most heated exchange of Wednesday morning after the senator reignited a line of attack against the judge’s conviction record in cases involving images of child sexual abuse.

For Mr. Graham, the exchange was recalls his angry rant during Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s caustic confirmation hearings.

The flashes of anger were particularly stark coming from a senator who voted less than a year ago to confirm Judge Jackson to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Mr Graham’s aggressive questioning of Judge Jackson over the past two days – which included quick rhetorical questions, frequent interruptions and long heated lectures – suggested he was unlikely to support her for the most high court of the country.

On Tuesday, Mr. Graham made it clear that he was still angry that President Biden had chosen to nominate Justice Jackson over his preferred nominee, Justice J. Michelle Childs, who is from his home country. On Wednesday, he appeared to hold Judge Jackson personally responsible for the Democrats’ treatment of Judge Kavanaugh: “He was ambushed,” Mr. Graham thundered. “How would you feel if we did this to you?”

But the real fire of the exchange came when the senator reviewed accusations that Judge Jackson had been particularly lenient in her sentencing in cases involving child sex abuse images. At one point, he said of consumers of child sexual abuse images, “put their ass in jail.”

Judge Jackson attempted to explain how such cases have changed since Congress passed a law that increased penalties based on the number of images found in a defendant’s possession. In the days of the law, these images mostly arrived in the mail, and the number of images indicated how far a consumer had traveled to get them.

But, she tried to explain during Mr Graham’s repeated interruptions, in the age of the internet, huge stores of images can be acquired with a few mouse clicks.

‘You can do this for 15 minutes, and all of a sudden you’re looking at 30, 40, 50 years in prison,’ she said, when Mr Graham cut her off, ‘Fine, absolutely fine. “

Judge Jackson, a former member of a federal sentencing commission that considered the matter, continued, “Senator, I’m trying to explain that our sentencing system that Congress created, the of which the sentencing commission is the steward, is rational. It is designed to help judges deliver justice in dire circumstances by eliminating unwarranted disparities, ensuring the most serious defendants get the longest periods of time.

It sparked Mr Graham’s biting knockout blow: ‘We’re trying to get people to stop this shit,’ he gushed, adding: ‘All I can say is your point view on how to deter child pornography is not my view I think you are doing it wrong, and every judge who does what you do is making it easier for children to be exploited.

After the questioning, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and Dean of the Senate, called Mr. Graham’s performance “out of reach”, telling reporters: “I’m just sorry to see this kind of full analysis of what is normally how the Senate has behaved.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Lindsey Graham strikes a caustic tone when questioning Jackson
Lindsey Graham strikes a caustic tone when questioning Jackson
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