The Dirty Dingus McGee trio: Cruz, Graham and Hawley

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The suggestion that Judge Jackson has been too easy on sex offenders is utterly groundless and just shows how pathetically unprincipled and desperate Senator Hawley is. He needs to get a life.-
Laurence Tribe@tribelaw

Ahead of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Senate confirmation hearing next week, right-wing media outlets and fringe online forums have spread a baseless smear that the Supreme Court nominee has a history of allowing sex offenders “off the hook.” This false narrative picked up steam after Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) posted an 18-part Twitter thread condemning Jackson for her “alarming” treatment of sex offenders. 

Claims that Jackson is lenient toward sex offenders date back to late February, when a conservative opposition research organization called the American Accountability Foundation (AAF) published an “investigation” into the judge’s judicial and academic background. 

AAF cited an unsigned note written by Jackson for the Harvard Law Review, in which Jackson expressed criticism for the “excessiveness” of punitive measures placed on released sex offenders and advocated for the consideration of a less punitive and more preventative approach. Without proper context, AAF used the note as an opportunity to label Jackson a “radical Leftist,” with the founder of the organization saying that “Jackson’s radical position raises questions on her suitability to serve on the court. Is she more interested in social justice engineering or administering justice?”  

These claims are entirely unfounded and part of a right-wing media campaign to paint Jackson as a radical, despite her moderate record, and scuttle her confirmation. This smear campaign has also included attempts to connect her to the QAnon-adjacent “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, which falsely claimed that a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant hid a secret pedophilia ring.”